LONDON, July 15 (Reuters) - Britain’s FTSE 100 index is seen opening up by 6-20 points, or 0.1-0.3 percent higher, according to financial bookmakers. For more on the factors affecting European stocks, please click on .
* The UK blue chip index closed up 0.2 percent at 6,753.75 points on Tuesday.
* BHP BILLITON : BHP Billiton on Wednesday said it will take a $2 billion impairment on its U.S. shale operations - the third writedown in three years.
* CHINESE ECONOMY: China’s economy grew an annual 7 percent in the second quarter, steady with the previous quarter and slightly better than analysts’ forecasts, though further stimulus is still expected after the quarter ended with a stock market crash.
* IAG /AER LINGUS : IAG has gained European Union antitrust approval for its 1.3-billion-euro ($1.4 billion) bid for Irish carrier Aer Lingus after agreeing to make concessions to ease competition worries, the EU Commission said on Tuesday.
* MEGGITT : The Daily Mail newspaper’s stock market report cited revived gossip that United Technologies or Honeywell could be eyeing a bid for aircrafts parts manufacturer Meggitt. The Daily Mail had already reported about bid speculation surrounding Meggitt in July 2014.
* BANK OF ENGLAND/INTEREST RATES: The Bank of England should raise interest rates their from record low levels soon and it does not have to wait for the U.S. Federal Reserve to move first, policymaker David Miles said on Tuesday.
* BRITISH PENSIONS: British pensioners have withdrawn more than 1.8 billion pounds ($2.8 bln) from their retirement pot in the two months since the government gave them the freedom to spend it on whatever they wished, the UK insurance trade body said.
TODAY‘S UK PAPERS
> Financial Times
> Other business headlines Multimedia versions of Reuters Top News are now available for: * 3000 Xtra : visit topnews.session.rservices.com * BridgeStation: view story .134 For more information on Top News visit topnews.reuters.com (Reporting by Sudip Kar-Gupta)