LONDON Sept 24 (Reuters) - Britain’s FTSE 100 index is seen opening down 13-16 points, or 0.2-0.3 percent lower on Thursday, according to financial bookmakers. For more on the factors affecting European stocks, please click on
* The UK blue chip index closed up 1.6 percent at 6,032.24 points on Wednesday.
* British finance minister George Osborne will open bidding during a visit to China on Thursday on 12 billion pounds ($18 billion) of contracts to build a high-speed rail line, the latest effort to bring Chinese cash to Britain.
* Top UK steelmakers have called on the government to increase help to the sector after SSI UK, the country’s second largest steelmaker, halted production last week, calling into question its future and putting thousands of jobs at risk.
*British car production leapt by almost 41 percent in August compared with the same month last year, bringing output in the first eight months of the year to over 1 million for the first time since 2008, an industry body said on Thursday.
* UK’s health regulator suspended the sales of silicone implants made by Brazil’s Silimed and recommended that none of the devices be implanted until further advice.
* OIL PRICE - Oil prices pared losses on bargain hunting on Thursday after sharp falls overnight on an unexpectedly large buildup in U.S. gasoline stocks and seasonally tepid demand.
* PFIZER - Pfizer’s Sayana press became the first injectable contraceptive in the United Kingdom available for administration by self-injection.
* METALS PRICES - London copper was steady above a four-week low on Thursday as renewed concerns over weak demand growth from top consumer China darkened the metal’s outlook against a backdrop of ample supply.
TODAY‘S UK PAPERS
> Financial Times
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