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LONDON, April 16 (Reuters) - Britain’s FTSE 100 index is seen opening higher on Wednesday, with June futures for the index up 0.8 percent by 0635 GMT. For more on the factors affecting European stocks, please click on
* The UK benchmark closed down 42.15 points, or 0.6 percent, at 6,541.61 points on Tuesday, its lowest close since March 24.
* The index on Wednesday looked set to take its cue from Asian stock markets, which were mostly in the black after China reported economic growth a touch above forecasts.
China’s economy grew at its slowest pace in 18 months in the first quarter of 2014, official data showed, with signs of waning momentum already prompting limited government action to steady the world’s second-largest economy.
However, the data, which showed 7.4 percent growth, came in slightly stronger than the median forecast of 7.3 percent in a Reuters poll although it showed a slowdown from growth of 7.7 percent in the final quarter of 2013.
* In terms of domestic data, figures on average earnings in the monthly labour market release, due at 0830 GMT, are expected to rise by 1.8 percent in the three months to February, which would be welcome news for the hard pressed consumer.
* Investors will also be keeping a close eye on any developments in Ukraine.
Ukrainian forces launched a “special operation” on Tuesday against separatist militia in the Russian-speaking East, authorities said, although aside from a landing by airborne troops the action was limited.
* Stocks trading without the attraction of their latest dividend, namely ARM Holdings, BAE Systems, Barratt Developments, Capita, Melrose Industries, Petrofac, and Smith & Nephew will knock 3.2 points off the FTSE 100 on Wednesday.
* TESCO : Britain’s biggest retailer said it expected tough trading to continue as it posted a 6 percent fall in annual profit, its second straight year of decline.
* BURBERRY : The luxury retailer said strong sales in China and Korea helped it to a 19 percent rise in second-half revenue, beating analyst expectations, but said it expected currency headwinds to hit profits in the next two years.
* HARGREAVES LANSDOWN : The investment firm saw record quarterly net inflows of money from clients in the three months to March 31 as low interest rates pushed more people into playing the stock market.
* PERSIMMON : The housebuilder said its new financial year has started well.
* RECKITT BENCKISER GROUP : The company reported a 4 percent rise in like-for-like sales at constant currency rates, excluding its shrinking pharmaceuticals business, and said it was on track to achieve its full-year targets.
* BHP BILLITON : The world’s biggest mining company lifted full-year iron ore production guidance by 5 million tonnes to 217 million as it pushes ahead with expansion work in Australia.
* BUNZL : The business supplies distributor announced three acquisitions for a total of 80 million pounds ($133.84 million) after reporting a 5 percent rise in first- quarter revenue.
TODAY‘S UK PAPERS
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> 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 (Reporting by Tricia Wright; Editing by Sudip Kar-Gupta)