(Adds futures, company news)
LONDON, June 5 (Reuters) - Britain’s FTSE 100 index is seen opening flat to 2 points lower on Thursday, according to financial bookmakers. For more on the factors affecting European stocks, please click on
* Futures for the index are up 0.1 percent at 0639 GMT.
* Market moves were likely to be limited ahead of a European Central Bank meeting at which it is set to unveil fresh measures to support the euro zone’s frail recovery and prevent deflation.
The ECB is expected to impose negative interest rates on its overnight depositors, seeking to prompt banks to lend instead and to prevent the region from slipping into Japan-like deflation, and launch a long-term refinancing operation (LTRO) targeted at businesses.
* Garnering less attention on Thursday is the Bank of England’s latest monetary policy decision. No changes are expected, with both interest rates and asset purchases likely to stay as they are.
* The UK blue chip index closed down 17.67 points, or 0.3 percent, at 6,818.63 points on Wednesday, weighed down by Tesco after the supermarket retailer posted its biggest quarterly UK sales drop in 40 years.
* Private equity company 3i and Intu Properties are to join Britain’s blue-chip FTSE 100 equity index, at the expense of bookmaker William Hill and industrial investment group Melrose Industries.
* Shares in metal and mining companies, which have a big exposure to China, will be in the spotlight after data showed growth in the country’s services sector retreated to a four-month low in May. The services purchasing managers’ index (PMI) compiled by HSBC/Markit slipped to 50.7 last month from April’s 51.4, although it still held above the 50-point level separating growth from contraction.
* SMITH & NEPHEW : Medical device maker Medtronic is looking at a takeover of London-based Smith & Nephew, a move that could help lower its taxes by moving its base overseas, Bloomberg reported.
* LLOYDS BANKING GROUP : Lloyds Banking Group has sold a portfolio of UK commercial real estate loans to Promontoria Holding, an affiliate of Cerberus Global Investors, for 352 million pounds ($589.7 million).
* BARCLAYS : Barclays Chief Executive Antony Jenkins said he has more work to do to rein in pay levels and expects pressure from investors for banks to improve profitability to reduce compensation across the industry.
* GLAXOSMITHKLINE : The drugmaker has agreed to pay $105 million to settle allegations by 44 U.S. states and the District of Columbia that it promoted its medicines for unapproved uses, several states attorneys general announced on Wednesday.
* BP : U.S. appeals court said BP and Anadarko Petroleum Corp must face penalties under federal pollution laws in connection with the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill, which could expose the companies to billions of dollars in potential fines.
* WM MORRISON : Britain’s No. 4 grocer will announce a management restructuring in its stores within weeks that could mean losses of up to 2,000 jobs, the Guardian newspaper reported on Thursday, citing sources.
* JOHNSON MATTHEY : The world’s largest autocatalyst manufacturer posted a rise in annual profit slightly ahead of expectations, helped by tighter rules on emissions which boosted its sales of catalysts for heavy duty vehicles in Europe.
* VODAFONE : Vodafone’s hold on the African telecoms market is facing a new challenge from rivals seeking to compete with its dominant M-Pesa mobile money platform, the Financial Times said.
* BELLWAY : A strong trading performance from the housebuilder resulted in a substantial forward order book.
* EASYJET : The budget airline’s passenger numbers in May rose 7.9 percent.
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 = 0.5969 British Pounds) (Reporting by Tricia Wright; editing by Blaise Robinson)