UK Stocks-Factors to watch on April 2
(Adds company news)
LONDON, April 2 (Reuters) - Britain's FTSE 100 index is seen opening flat on Thursday, according to financial bookmakers. For more on the factors affecting European stocks, please click on
* The blue-chip index closed 0.5 percent higher at 6,809.50 points in the previous session, after a 1.7 percent slide on Tuesday that trimmed its first quarter gains to 3.2 percent.
* MARKS & SPENCER - The British retailer posted its best non-food sales performance for nearly four years as it started to put its online distribution problems behind it.
* DIAGEO - The world's largest spirits maker said it had agreed to acquire control of United National Breweries beer business in South Africa, buying the remaining 50 percent stake it did not already own.
* HSBC - The bank is making progress toward cleaning up its operations, after reaching a $1.92 billion settlement of charges related to money laundering, but has not done enough, the U.S. Department of Justice said on Wednesday.
* BP - The oil major will cease production at its 102,000 barrels per day Bulwer Island refinery in Brisbane in May, a spokeswoman said on Thursday.
* ROYAL DUTCH SHELL - Shell has finished upgrading its Singapore ethylene cracker complex at its integrated refining-chemicals site, boosting production of ethylene by 20 percent, the company said on Thursday.
* TATE & LYLE - The company said a project to evaluate how best to maximise returns from its Splenda sucralose was reaching conclusion and would be finalised with the board this month. Continuación...