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By Atul Prakash
LONDON, Feb 4 (Reuters) - Britain’s FTSE 100 index is seen opening 19 to 21 points higher, or as much as 0.3 percent, on Wednesday, according to financial bookmakers. For more on the factors affecting European stocks, please click on
* The UK blue chip index closed 1.3 percent higher in the previous session at 6,871.80 points, near its highest level since September 2014.
* China’s services sector grew at the slowest pace in six months in January as growth in new business weakened, a private survey showed, raising expectations that policymakers may unveil more stimulus steps to avert a sharper slowdown in the world’s second-largest economy.
* BSKYB - Strong demand for pay TV in Britain and a record jump in customer numbers in Germany helped Sky to post a 16 percent rise in first-half adjusted operating profit in its maiden results as a European pay-TV group on Wednesday.
* HARGREAVES LANSDOWN - The company’s assets under administration rose 4.7 percent to a record 49.1 billion pounds in the six months to end of December, it said on Wednesday.
* ROYAL DUTCH SHELL - Negotiations made no progress on Tuesday as Royal Dutch Shell and union leaders haggled over a new wage contract for U.S. refinery workers who have been on strike for three days, the union said.
* BHP BILLITON - Pan Pacific Copper (PPC), Japan’s biggest smelter, said it would not be taking term deliveries of copper concentrate from BHP Billiton in 2015 after the two failed to agree on processing fees.
* RIO TINTO - The world’s No. 2 iron ore miner is on track to boost annual output to 350 million tonnes by 2017, a company official said on Wednesday.
* ARM HOLDINGS - Chip designer ARM Holdings on Tuesday unveiled a new processor blueprint with improved computing performance and beefed-up graphics aimed at smartphones and tablets to be launched next year.
* RYANAIR HOLDINGS - The company said its January traffic grew by 30 percent to over 5.98 million customers.
* BP - U.S. regulators are considering naming BP and its entities in an enforcement action alleging the British oil major violated anti-fraud and reporting rules while using Canadian oil pipelines, BP said in its quarterly results statement on Tuesday.
* Oil prices fell as renewed concerns over global demand and high stock levels halted a rally that pushed up prices by about 19 percent over the past four sessions.
* London copper futures reversed early losses to trade higher, building on the strongest gains since mid-2013 overnight.
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 (Reporting by Atul Prakash; Editing by Francesco Canepa)