LONDON, Aug 14 (Reuters) - Britain's FTSE 100 index was seen opening lower on Thursday, with the September FTSE futures contract down by 0.2 percent, as weak German and French economic data weighed on markets. For more on the factors affecting European stocks, please click on
* The UK blue chip index closed up by 0.4 percent at 6,656.68 points on Wednesday.
* BANK OF ENGLAND: The Bank of England will not be pushed into raising interest rates sharply because the outlook for inflation is subdued, a policymaker on the Bank's rate setting committee said on Thursday.
* MARKS & SPENCER - British retailer Marks & Spencer is close to having both its food and general merchandise divisions "firing on all cylinders" and expects a better Christmas after poor clothing sales hit last holiday season, according to its food business head.
* ASTRAZENECA : Drugmaker AstraZeneca said on Thursday it was starting final-stage Phase III clinical trials for its experimental drug tralokinumab as a treatment for severe asthma.
* CARILLION : Construction group Carillion reported higher interim profits and said its expectations for 2014 were unchanged.
* CENTAMIN : Gold miner Centamin Plc's second-quarter core earnings nearly halved as it mined lower-grade ore at its key Sukari mine in Egypt.
* CINEWORLD : Cinema operator Cineworld reported higher revenues.
* RANK GROUP - Gambling company Rank Group posted annual operating profits before exceptional items of 72.4 million pounds and raised its dividend.
* AFRICAN MINERALS - The board of iron ore producer African Minerals is considering changing the role of its executive chairman Frank Timis, who was recently at the centre of an investigation into a $50 million payment he authorised, a company director said on Wednesday.
* COPPER: London copper was stuck near its lowest since late June on Thursday after growth in China's huge property sector showed signs of cooling, while worries persisted that geopolitical tensions would dampen Europe's recovery.
> 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 (Reporting by Sudip Kar-Gupta; Editing by Francesco Canepa)