(Adds company news, futures)
Aug 9 (Reuters) - Britain’s FTSE 100 index is seen opening 40 points lower at 7503.2 on Wednesday, according to financial spreadbetters, with futures down 0.48 percent ahead of the cash market open.
* VANTIV/WORLDPAY: U.S. card firm Vantiv has made a formal offer to buy Britain’s biggest payments processor Worldpay for 8 billion pounds ($10.39 billion), five weeks after the deal was first announced.
* STOCK SPIRITS: Stock Spirits Group Plc said its operating profit rose 32 percent in the first half of the year on strong demand for its flavoured vodka in Poland.
* UNILEVER: UNILEVER has agreed to buy certain of its Dutch preference shares and to launch a public offer for the rest that would value them at 450 million euros, as the Anglo-Dutch consumer goods company seeks to simplify its capital structure.
* INTERSERVE: British support services and construction company Interserve reported a 28.3 percent fall in half-year adjusted operating profit, hurt by higher costs and restructuring actions.
* G4S: The world’s largest security firm G4S said its ongoing turnaround was on track on Wednesday as it posted a 7.6 percent rise in first-half profit and forecast better contract potential ahead.
* LEGAL & GENERAL: Insurer and asset manager Legal & General reported a 27 percent rise in first-half operating profit to 988 million pounds ($1.28 billion), it said on Wednesday, boosted by strong performance in its retirement division.
* HASTINGS GROUP: British insurer Hastings Group Holdings Plc reported a 22.1 percent jump in first-half adjusted operating profit, as legal changes drove up the cost of motor insurance premiums in the country.
* SPIRAX-SARCO: Spirax-Sarco Engineering Plc reported a 25 pct rise in first-half revenue, helped by acquisitions, a weak sterling and strength in its operations outside the UK.
* SKY: Sky set to retain live Football League rights in 180 mln stg-a-year deal, the Guardian reported.
* COPPER: LME copper CMCU3 punched the $6,500 mark, the highest since December 2014, before trading last at $6,480. On Tuesday turnover volumes were at typical levels around 21,000 lots, suggesting interest in chasing prices higher may be tailing off.
* GOLD: Spot gold rose 0.3 percent to $1,264.50 per ounce, as of 0324 GMT, while U.S. gold futures GCcv1 for December delivery rose 0.6 percent to $1,270.40 per ounce.
* CRUDE: Benchmark Brent crude was down 24 cents, or 0.5 percent, at $51.90 a barrel at 0233 GMT. In the previous session, it settled down 0.4 percent. U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude (WTI) was down 15 cents, or 0.3 percent, at $49.02 a barrel, after falling 0.4 percent on Tuesday.
* SKY/FOX: Britain’s department of culture said on Tuesday it had written to media watchdog Ofcom for more information on its views on Twenty-First Century Fox’s bid for Sky Plc. It said it wanted some clarification following a number of representations that has been made to it about Ofcom’s finding in favour of the deal.
* European equities turned positive after a damp start on Tuesday as strong gains in utilities, auto and energy stocks outweighed losses from Pandora after disappointing results. Investors pointed to strong earnings growth as the second-quarter results season powered on. The pan-European STOXX 600 index was up 0.2 percent, while blue chips rose 0.4 percent. Britain’s FTSE 100 was also up 0.2 percent, and Germany’s DAX gained 0.3 percent.
* For more on the factors affecting European stocks, please click on: cpurl://apps.cp./cms/?pageId=livemarkets
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