(adds futures, company news items)
Jan 21 (Reuters) - Britain’s FTSE 100 index is seen opening up marginally, with futures up 0.12 pct ahead of the cash market open. For more on the factors affecting European stocks, please click on
* The UK blue chip index ended 3.5 percent lower at 5,673.58 points on Wednesday, after earlier touching its lowest level in more than three years, as concerns about China triggered a sharp decline in commodities-related stocks. The index has fallen more than 20 percent since its peak in April, confirming that it is in “bear market” territory.
* OIL: Oil prices dipped on Thursday, erasing modest early gains as analysts said a persistent global surplus of crude would keep pressuring the market, after hitting their lowest levels since 2003 in the previous session.
* BARCLAYS: Barclays will close its cash equities business across Asia and exit Korea and Taiwan, a person with direct knowledge of the matter told Reuters on Thursday, as part of a global cost-cutting plan aimed at boosting profits.
* GSK: Five people, including two former GlaxoSmithKline researchers, were charged with a scheme to steal trade secrets from the British drugmaker for potential sale in China, according to indictments announced by the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Philadelphia on Wednesday.
* BHP BILLITON: Brazilian mining company Samarco Mineração S.A., co-owned by BHP Billiton and Vale said on Wednesday CEO Ricardo Vescovi and Director of Operations Kleber Terra had temporarily stepped aside to focus on preparing their defense in the wake of November’s mine disaster.
* ENTERTAINMENT ONE: U.S. activist hedge fund Livermore Partners is calling on Canadian and UK media firm Entertainment One to slow down its pace of dealmaking and improve its cash flow, the fund’s top executive said.
* CHEMRING: British defence contractor Chemring Group Plc said its full-year loss before tax from continuing operations widened, and that it would raise 80.8 million pounds ($114 million) through a rights issue.
* PEARSON: Troubled British education publisher Pearson plans to cut 10 percent of its workforce, cap the dividend and restructure yet again after predicting weak earnings for 2015 and 2016.
* N BROWN: British plus-size fashion retailer N Brown Group Plc reported a 4.1 percent rise in third-quarter revenue and said it was on track to meet full-year expectations.
* ROYAL MAIL: Britain’s postal firm Royal Mail said it was on track to deliver its cost reduction target after it reported better than expected parcel volumes of 4 percent in the first nine months of its financial year.
* SABMILLER: Brewer SABMiller reported a better-than-expected 7 percent rise in underlying third-quarter sales on Thursday, helped by gains in Africa and South America, and stronger growth in Europe, where unseasonably mild weather boosted demand.
* BRITISH ENERGY: Investment in Britain’s energy sector could suffer if the country left the European Union, the chief executive of BP Bob Dudley said on Wednesday.
* BRITISH CAR INSURANCE: British car insurance premiums rose by more than 10 percent in the fourth quarter compared with the previous three months, the largest such increase since 2010, recovery service AA said on Thursday.
* BRITISH HOUSE PRICES: Investors are trying to beat a tax increase on buy-to-let properties in Britain, helping to push up house prices last month, a survey showed on Thursday.
* EX-DIVS: Compass Group and SSE will trade without entitlement to their latest dividend pay-out on Thursday, trimming 2.3 points off the FTSE 100, according to Reuters calculations
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 Mamidipudi Soumithri in Bengaluru)