(Adds company news, futures)
June 29 (Reuters) - Britain’s FTSE 100 index is seen opening up 37 points at 7,424 on Thursday, according to financial bookmakers, with futures up 0.52 percent ahead of the cash market open.
* DS SMITH: DS Smith Plc, a British maker of corrugated cardboard, recycled paper and plastic packaging, said it had agreed to buy 80 percent of Interstate Resources, a U.S. corrugated packaging business, from Merpas Co for $920 million.
* JOHN WOOD GROUP: Oilfield services company John Wood Group Plc said fewer projects and modifications work, particularly in the North Sea region, weighed on its first half, while impact of a tougher pricing environment would result in a reduction in the first-half margin.
* TESCO/BOOKER: British supermarket Tesco and its takeover target Booker have asked the UK competition regulator to “fast track” examination of their 3.7 billion pounds ($4.8 billion) deal to a more detailed second stage, they said on Thursday.
* BT GROUP: Britain’s Financial Reporting Council (FRC) said on Thursday it would investigate PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP’s audits of BT Group for 2015 to 2017 after an accounting scandal in the telecoms company’s Italian operations.
* Rolls-Royce: Rolls-Royce has plans for a new test plant in Derby, making way for its biggest single investment into the UK in more than a decade, The Financial Times reported on Thursday.(on.ft.com/2siPGdF)
* RIO TINTO: Rio Tinto shareholders approved the sale of a suite of Australian coal assets to China-backed Yancoal Australia for $2.69 billion, ending a bidding war with commodities trader Glencore.
* BARCLAYS: The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission may take action against bankers from Barclays Plc and Morgan Stanley for their roles in Puerto Rico bond sales, Bloomberg reported.
* ROYAL DUTCH SHELL: The widows of four of nine men executed by Nigeria’s military regime in 1995 have filed a civil lawsuit seeking compensation and an apology from Royal Dutch Shell for alleged complicity in a military crackdown, according to a writ filed in a court in The Hague.
* OIL: Crude oil futures rose for a sixth consecutive session on Thursday, as a decline in U.S. production underpinned the market that has been under pressure from a global supply glut.
* GOLD: Gold held firm on Thursday as the U.S. dollar hovered near 10-month lows on bets that central banks in Europe and Britain are preparing to scale back monetary stimulus.
* COPPER: London copper punched through a key technical level on Thursday as a weaker dollar and falling supply helped prices hit their highest in almost three months.
* EX-DIVS: Babcock International,British Land Company,Coca Cola HBC, International Consolidated Airlines, Royal Mail will trade without entitlement to their latest dividend pay-out on Thursday, trimming 2.26 points off the FTSE 100 according to Reuters calculations
* The UK blue chip index fell 0.6 percent on Wednesday, depressed by a slide in Hargreaves Lansdown and oil stocks, though a jump in Bunzl’s shares offered some relief.
* 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 Harish Bhaskar)