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Jan 28 (Reuters) - Britain’s FTSE 100 index is seen opening lower by 36-40 points, or 0.6-0.7 percent, according to financial bookmakers. Futures were up marginally ahead of the cash market open. For more on the factors affecting European stocks, please click on
* The UK blue-chip index closed up 1.3 percent at 5,990.37 on Wednesday, helped by a surge in software firm Sage Group Plc and a rebound in mining and energy stocks as oil prices rose.
* BHP BILLITON: Brazilian miner Samarco Mineracao SA, in which BHP Billiton owns a 50 percent stake, said on Wednesday it evacuated some workers after rain caused a mudslide at the site where an iron ore tailings damn burst in November.
* FIRSTGROUP: British transport company FirstGroup warned that profit would come in lower than it expected, blaming wet weather and flooding in Britain and driver shortages in the United States.
* 3I GROUP: British private equity firm 3i Group Plc reported its net asset value rose in its third quarter, despite what it described as a challenging market environment.
* ANGLO AMERICAN: Global mining company Anglo American boosted its total annual iron ore output as a ramp-up at its Minas-Rio mine offset lower output at its Kumba subsidiary.
* GRAINGER: Residential landlord Grainger Plc announced an overhaul of its business, including the disposal of two non-core units and a 10 percent reduction in jobs, as it looks to focus on the fast-growing domestic private rental sector (PRS).
* LONMIN: Platinum producer Lonmin will continue to review its services and reduce costs, mainly through cutting jobs, as the slide in the price of its main commodity bites further.
* SSE: British utility SSE said it had lost 300,000 customers over the first nine months of its financial year, but it maintained its dividend and earnings per share targets for the full year.
SSE will cut its domestic gas prices by an average of 5.3 percent from March 29, the company said on Thursday.
* DIAGEO: Diageo reported a 1.8 percent rise in half-year sales, weighed down by foreign exchange rates and the sale of assets including its wine business.
* BABCOCK: British engineering and support services firm Babcock said chief executive Peter Rogers would retire in August and would be replaced by senior management executive Archie Bethel.
* KAZ MINERALS: Copper mining company Kaz Minerals Plc said full-year copper cathode production fell 3 percent, hurt by maintenance work at one of its smelters.
* BRITISH CONSTRUCTION: The number of new homes registered for construction by British builders in 2015 rose to its highest since the financial crisis, despite a slowdown in the second half of the year, an industry group said on Thursday.
* BRITISH POWER: A British auction to secure 802.710 megawatts of backup electricity capacity for the 2016/17 winter period cleared at 27.50 pounds per kilowatt per year on Wednesday, the delivery body said in preliminary results.
* OIL PRICES: Crude oil futures fell around 1 percent in Asian trading on Thursday, eroding gains of nearly 3 percent made in the previous session after Russia held out the possibility of cooperating with OPEC to control global oversupply.
* EX-DIVS: No FTSE 100 company will go ex-dividend on Thursday.
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 and Esha Vaish in Bengaluru; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu and Sunil Nair)