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March 23 (Reuters) - Britain’s FTSE 100 futures were flat ahead of the cash market open on Thursday.
* NEXT: British clothing retailer Next is “extremely cautious” about prospects for the year ahead, it said on Thursday, as it reported a 3.8 percent fall in annual profit.
* GVC HOLDINGS: Online gambling firm GVC Holdings said it would pay a second special dividend for 2016 on the back of strong underlying trading and favourable refinancing.
* IG GROUP: IG Group Holdings Plc, a British online trading company, reported a 3.8 percent fall in quarterly revenue as it earned less per client, especially in the United Kingdom and Ireland.
* KIER GROUP: Britain’s Kier Group is on track to meet its full-year expectations, the construction and support services company said on Thursday, as it reported a 4 percent rise in first-half profit and a larger order book.
* GLAXOSMITHKLINE: Britain’s GlaxoSmithKline and U.S.-based Regeneron Pharmaceuticals are embarking on a joint project with UK Biobank, the world’s most detailed biomedical database, to hunt for new clues linking genes and disease.
* SHELL: Royal Dutch Shell agreed to lease capacity at a large oil terminal in Panama that has been used by U.S. refiner Tesoro Corp, sources involved in the deal told Reuters, gaining much-needed storage for its crude operations.
* SHELL: Royal Dutch Shell plc, Chevron Corp and Exxon Mobil Corp signalled the oil industry’s return to the Gulf of Mexico’s deep waters with high bids in a government auction up 76 percent over a year ago.
* BARCLAYS: UK’s Financial Conduct Authority has relaunched probe into Barclays’ emergency cash call during the financial crisis, the Financial Times reported on Thursday.
* HSBC: HSBC is on track to fill 1000 vacancies at the new headquarters of its British retail bank in Birmingham it said on Thursday, with people hired for nearly 450 of the roles.
* TESCO: Tesco, Britain’s biggest supermarket, has pulled eight Heineken brands, including Amstel, Sol and Kingfisher beer from its shelves, as part of a move to refine its alcoholic beverages offer, it said on Wednesday.
* BHP BILLITON: Leaders of the striking union at BHP Billiton’s Escondida mine in Chile will meet with the rank-and-file before making any additional decisions about negotiations, a union spokesman said after exiting a meeting with BHP on Wednesday.
* BRITAIN AUTOS: British car production hit a 17-year high in February, extending a recent trend of surging output as a strong rise in exports once again compensated for a slump in demand at home, an industry body said on Thursday.
* BRITAIN WAGES: Most British companies do not expect to offer more generous pay deals to employees this year compared with 2016, adding to signs that higher inflation will gnaw at Britons’ living standards in the months ahead, a survey showed on Thursday.
* EX-DIVS: No FTSE 100 companies will go ex-dividend on Thursday, although several mid-caps will go ex-div, after which investors will no longer qualify for the latest dividend payout.
* OIL: Oil prices recovered on Thursday from losses chalked up the session before, but the market remained under pressure as bloated U.S. crude inventories and rising output dampen OPEC-led efforts to curb global production.
* The UK blue chip FTSE 100 index closed down 0.7 percent at 7,324.72 points on Wednesday, weighed by banks and miners, as investors repriced expectations for fiscal easing from the U.S. and a stronger outlook for sterling compounded weakness in the UK stock market.
* For more on the factors affecting European stocks, please click on: cpurl://apps.cp./cms/?pageId=livemarkets
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> Other business headlines Multimedia versions of Reuters Top News are now available for: * 3000 Xtra : visit topnews.session.rservices.com * For Top News : topnews.reuters.com (Reporting by Siju Varghese; Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips)