(Adds futures, company news)
LONDON, June 4 (Reuters) - Britain’s FTSE 100 index is seen opening down 8 to 16 points, or 0.2 percent lower on Thursday, according to financial bookmakers, with futures on the index down 0.4 percent ahead of the cash market open. For more on the factors affecting European stocks, please click on
* The blue-chip FTSE 100 index was up 0.3 percent at 6,950.46 points at the close on Wednesday, slightly underperforming its euro zone peers as a survey of the dominant services sector came in sharply below forecasts.
* GLENCORE - Glencore Plc said it is looking at Australian coal assets and other coal opportunities as it seeks to take advantage of a downturn in the market to position itself for future growth.
* AGGREKO, INMARSAT - Satellite company Inmarsat Plc will join UK’s FTSE 100 equity index, replacing the world’s biggest temporary power provider, Aggreko, FTSE Russell said on Wednesday.
* BP - Striking union workers at a joint BP Plc and Husky Energy refinery in Toledo, Ohio ratified a new contract on Wednesday and are due to return to work on Monday, four months after walking off their jobs, a refinery official said.
* STANDARD CHARTERED - Standard Chartered board member V. Shankar is leaving the London-based bank to launch a private $750 million-$1 billion private equity fund focused on Africa, the Middle East, South Asia and Southeast Asia, he said on Wednesday.
* LADBROKES - There have been rumours that the bookmaker could be subject to a bid from Irish peer Paddy Power of 1.6 billion pounds ($2.45 billion) or 175p a share cash offer, according to the Daily Mail.
* SPORTS DIRECT - Britain’s biggest sporting goods retailer Sports Direct SPD.L said on Thursday it had promoted Matt Pearson to Chief Financial Officer, 18 months after its last CFO retired.
* JOHNSON MATTHEY - The world’s largest autocatalysts maker said on Thursday that it expects its performance to improve in the next financial year as it posted a small increase in annual profit, helped by higher sales of catalysts in Europe.
TODAY‘S UK PAPERS
> Financial Times
> Other business headlines Multimedia versions of Reuters Top News are now available for: * 3000 Xtra : visit topnews.session.rservices.com * BridgeStation: view story .134 For more information on Top News visit topnews.reuters.com ($1 = 0.6527 pounds) (Reporting by Alistair Smout)