LONDON, May 7 (Reuters) - Britain’s FTSE 100 index is seen opening down by around 14 points, or 0.2 percent lower on Thursday, with uncertainty ahead of the country’s national election set to weigh on the market, according to financial bookmakers. For more on the factors affecting European stocks, please click on
* The UK blue chip index closed up 0.1 percent at 6,933.74 points on Wednesday.
* BRITISH ELECTION: British voters get to decide on Thursday who they want to rule the world’s fifth-largest economy in a tight election that could yield weak government, propel the United Kingdom towards a vote on EU membership and stoke Scottish desire for secession. Prime Minister David Cameron’s Conservatives and Ed Miliband’s opposition Labour Party have been neck and neck in opinion polls for months, indicating neither will win enough seats for an outright majority in the 650-seat parliament.
* RIO TINTO : Rio Tinto vowed to continue producing iron ore at full tilt, despite a 55 percent plunge in prices since the start of last year, underpinned by its forecast that China’s steel demand will grow towards 1 billion tonnes.
* NATIONAL AUSTRALIA BANK : National Australia Bank, the country’s top lender by assets, will raise A$5.5 billion ($4.38 billion) in a rights issue as part of plans to exit its troubled British unit, a strong signal the new CEO intends to boost shareholder returns.
* LIBOR TRIAL: The London trial of Tom Hayes, a former UBS and Citigroup trader who is the first person in the world to face a jury trial over allegations of a conspiracy to rig Libor interest rates, has been delayed by two weeks.
* UNILEVER : Consumer goods group Unilever said late on Wednesday that it had bought U.S. skincare brand Kate Somerville.
* BLUECREST: BlueCrest’s flagship macro hedge fund, managed by billionaire Michael Platt, gained 2.8 percent in April, recording its highest monthly return in more than five years, an investor newsletter seen by Reuters showed.
TODAY‘S UK PAPERS
> Financial Times
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