LONDON, March 20 (Reuters) - Britain’s FTSE 100 index is seen opening down by 33 to 38 points, or as much as 0.6 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 down by 0.5 percent, or 32.15 points, at 6,573.13 points on Wednesday, with insurers and gambling companies impacted by measures unveiled in Britain’s budget which threatened their profits.
* U.S. FEDERAL RESERVE: The U.S. Federal Reserve will probably end its massive bond-buying program this fall, and could start raising interest rates around six months later, Fed Chair Janet Yellen said on Wednesday, in a comment which sent stocks and bonds tumbling.
* COPPER: London copper fell on Thursday but remained well above 3-1/2 year lows hit the in the previous session, after the U.S. Federal Reserve chair signalled interest rates could rise next year.
* ARM : Chip designer ARM Holdings expects the value of ARM-based chips in smartphones and mobile computing application processors to reach $20 billion by 2018 from $13 billion last year.
* BP : BP rejoined bidders for exploration and production leases in the Gulf of Mexico on Wednesday and won 24 tracts after the U.S. government lifted a 16-month ban barring the company from new federal contracts.
* ROYAL BANK OF SCOTLAND : Royal Bank of Scotland must face a U.S. lawsuit seeking to force it to cover losses suffered by a bond insurer on a $1.15 billion securities offering backed by allegedly defective and fraudulent home loans.
TODAY‘S UK PAPERS
> Financial Times
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