LONDON Oct 8 (Reuters) - Financial spreadbetters gave a range for Britain’s FTSE 100’s open on Thursday, from opening down by 2 points to opening up by 9 points, or flat to 0.1 percent higher. For more on the factors affecting European stocks, please click on
* The UK blue chip index closed higher at 6,336.35 points on Wednesday at 0.2 percent higher, its highest closing level since Aug. 20.
* British house prices rose more slowly in September as the number of deals grew, though the market remained hampered by a shortage of properties for sale, a body representing property valuers said on Thursday.
* Concerns among British employers about a new, higher minimum wage are contributing to a sharp slowdown in hiring via recruitment firms, according to a survey published on Thursday.
* ROLLS-ROYCE - The company plans to introduce more competition into the engine overhaul network for its Trent engines that power wide-body airliners, a senior executive said.
* VODAFONE - With a $120 billion merger with Liberty Global off the table, Vodafone boss Vittorio Colao needs his strategy of higher network investments and acquisitions of European cable companies to start paying off, quickly.
* Scientists still don’t know if two commonly-used flu drugs - Roche’s Tamiflu and GlaxoSmithKline’s Relenza - really work in seasonal or pandemic flu outbreaks and say robust clinical trials are urgently needed to find out.
* METALS - London copper edged lower on Thursday, while China copper prices rose on a short-covering rally as markets reopened after a week-long break.
* OIL - Crude oil futures rose in Asian trade on Thursday, shrugging off a surprise build in U.S. inventories as some Chinese traders returned following a weeklong National Day holiday period.
TODAY‘S UK PAPERS
> Financial Times
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