May 9 (Reuters) - Britain's FTSE 100 index is seen opening 33 points lower at 7,238 on Thursday, according to financial bookmakers. * STAGECOACH: Stagecoach Group said on Wednesday it had begun legal action against Britain's Department for Transport after the company's bid to continue operating a rail route was rejected due to concerns over pensions. * STANDARD CHARTERED: Standard Chartered has become the latest British firm to attract investor criticism of executive pensions, although shareholders stopped short of blocking the lender's pay plans outright in a vote on Wednesday. * GSK: Australia's competition regulator said on Thursday it will not oppose GlaxoSmithKline's deal to buy Pfizer's consumer healthcare business. * BP, SHELL: U.S. Gulf Coast refiners are bidding up prices for medium, high-sulfur crude produced in the Gulf of Mexico by BP Plc and Royal Dutch Shell Plc as they face a global shortage of heavy and sour crude, trade sources said. * OIL: Oil prices dropped 1 percent on Thursday amid concerns over the escalating trade battle between the United States and China, despite a surprise fall in U.S. crude stockpiles. * GOLD: Gold prices held steady on Thursday ahead of Sino-U.S. trade negotiations, while demand for government bonds and Japanese yen and a key technical resistance limited gains for the safe-haven metal. * EX-DIVS: Admiral Group, BP, Centrica and Hiscox will trade without entitlement to their latest dividend pay-out on Thursday, trimming 8.8 points off the FTSE 100 according to Reuters calculations * The UK blue chip index closed 0.2 percent higher on Wednesday as investors welcomed indications from Washington that it and Beijing could be closer to a trade deal, though the mood remained wary and dull earnings updates kept a lid on gains, and was also boosted by oil stocks after data showed a surprise draw in U.S. crude inventories. * For more on the factors affecting European stocks, please click on: * UK CORPORATE DIARY: Barratt Developments Plc Trading statement Derwent London Plc Q1 Trading statement Air Partner Plc Full year result Superdry Plc Trading statement BT Group Plc Full year result RSA Insurance Group Plc Q1 Trading statement Mondi Plc Q1 Trading statement IMI Plc Q1 Trading statement National Express Group Plc Q1 Trading statement WM Morrison Supermarkets Q1 Trading statement Cambria Automobiles Half year result TODAY'S UK PAPERS > Financial Times > Other business headlines (Reporting by Pushkala Aripaka and Adil Bhat in Bengaluru)
Nuestros Estándares: Los principios Thomson Reuters.