(Adds Poundland, Rio Tinto and Hays)
April 14 (Reuters) - Britain’s FTSE 100 index is seen opening up 3 points, or 0.05 percent, on Thursday, according to financial bookmakers, with futures up 0.3 percent ahead of the cash market open. For more on the factors affecting European stocks, please click on
* The UK blue chip index closed up 120.50 points, or 1.9 percent, at 6,362.99 points on Wednesday, led by mining and banks stocks, as strong Chinese export data helped to subdue concern over growth in the world’s second-largest economy.
* UNILEVER: Consumer goods maker Unilever reported first-quarter underlying sales growth in line with expectations on Thursday, with increases in both pricing and volume.
* STOCK SPIRITS GROUP: Stock Spirits Group Plc, whose boss faces a growing defiance from largest investor, returned to profit in first quarter in its key Poland market as the group reported a 29 percent jump in quarterly revenue.
* BURBERRY: British luxury fashion brand Burberry said its second-half sales were hit by a drop in tourist spending in Continental Europe and weak demand in Hong Kong, and it expected the tough conditions in the sector to persist, impacting profit this year.
* POUNDLAND: British discount retailer Poundland said it was on track to broadly meet market expectations for full-year profit, even after a tough second half during which underlying sales fell 4.9 percent.
* RIO TINTO: Rio Tinto has dropped a plan to stretch out the amount of time its suppliers must wait for payment, after widespread pushback from mining services firms and a request from the country’s resources minister.
* HAYS PLC: British recruiting company Hays Plc said it expected cautious client sentiment in Britain through the fourth quarter as uncertainty mounts ahead of a referendum on the country’s European Union membership.
* BREXIT: Prime Minister David Cameron’s ratings have fallen 8 percentage points ahead of a referendum on European Union membership, a YouGov poll for The Times newspaper indicated on Thursday.
* TATA STEEL/THYSSENKRUPP: India’s Tata Steel and Germany’s Thyssenkrupp are in talks about a joint venture among the options being considered for their European steel operations, Germany’s Rheinische Post said on Wednesday.
* ANGLO AMERICAN: Mining companies and private equity firms are circling Anglo American’s metallurgical coal assets in Australia, which could be valued at around $1.5 billion in a sale, several sources familiar with the matter said on Wednesday.
* ABBEY LIFE: Britain’s Legal & General Group PLC and Swiss Re AG are among firms said to be weighing bids for Deutsche Bank AG’s DBKGn.DE Abbey Life Assurance Co, sources familiar with the matter said.
* ITV: British commercial TV broadcaster ITV Plc is said to be pursuing a takeover of Canada’s Entertainment One Ltd, Bloomberg reported on Wednesday, citing people familiar with the matter.
* UK HOUSING: Britain’s housing market looks set for a soft patch in the run-up to June’s referendum on European Union membership, surveyors said on Thursday, forecasting the slowest house price growth in almost a year.
* BREXIT: Britain should stay in the EU “warts and all”, the opposition Labour leader will say on Thursday, making his first big intervention in the referendum campaign as he seeks to counter criticism he is not doing enough to persuade his voters to back the “In” campaign.
* COPPER: London copper eased on Thursday, but prices did not stray far from near two-week highs on the back of this week’s better-than-expected Chinese trade data, which has raised hopes that the world’s No. 2 economy may be stabilising.
* OIL: Oil prices fell on Thursday as OPEC warned of slowing demand and Russia hinted that there would only be a loose agreement with little commitments at the upcoming exporter meeting to rein in ballooning oversupply.
* EX-DIVS: Intu Properties, Reckitt Benckiser Group and Standard Life will trade without entitlement to their latest dividend pay-out on Thursday, trimming 3.43 points off the FTSE 100 according to Reuters calculations.
TODAY‘S UK PAPERS
> Financial Times
> Other business headlines (Reporting by Aastha Agnihotri in Bengaluru; Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips)