LONDON, Sept 15 (Reuters) - Britain’s FTSE 100 index is seen opening down 22 to 23 points, or 0.3 percent lower, according to financial bookmakers. For more on the factors affecting European stocks, please click on
* September futures for the index were down 0.3 percent by 0630 GMT.
* The FTSE 100 closed up 7.34 points, or 0.1 percent, at 6,806.96 points, on Friday.
* After a four-week winning streak, the index recorded a 0.7 percent fall for last week, which was marred by further signs of a slowdown in China, concerns about the Scottish referendum, and the prospect of a tightening in U.S. monetary policy.
* China’s factory output grew at the weakest pace in nearly six years in August while growth in other key sectors also cooled, data released over the weekend showed, raising fears the world’s second-largest economy may be at risk of a sharp slowdown unless Beijing takes fresh stimulus measures.
* The market remained on tenterhooks just days out to the Sept. 18 referendum on independence for Scotland, with polls showing both “Yes” and “No” camps pretty much running neck and neck.
* The prospect of the U.S. Federal Reserve’s policy meeting later this week also made investors cautious. The market will focus on the central bank’s words, seeking clues on the timing of the first U.S. rate hike in more than eight years.
* SABMILLER : Dutch brewer Heineken said on Sunday it was approached by larger rival SABMiller about a potential takeover but that its controlling shareholder intended to keep the company independent.
* TUI TRAVEL : Europe’s biggest tour operator, TUI Travel, and majority owner TUI AG said they had reached agreement on the terms of a recommended all-share nil-premium merger, creating a 6.5 billion euro holiday company.
* OIL FIRMS: Fresh U.S. and EU sanctions imposed on Moscow will bring an abrupt halt to exploration of Russia’s huge Arctic and shale oil reserves and complicate financing of existing Russian projects from the Caspian Sea to Iraq and Ghana.
* HSBC : HSBC Holdings Plc is expected to pay $550 million to resolve a U.S. regulator’s claims the bank made false representations in selling mortgage bonds to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac before the financial crisis, a person familiar with the matter said.
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