(Adds futures price, company news items)
LONDON, June 19 (Reuters) - Britain’s FTSE 100 futures contract was up by 0.6 percent by 0620 GMT, with the UK stock market seen tracking gains in U.S. and Asian shares after the U.S. Federal Reserve said the U.S. economy was making progress. For more on the factors affecting European stocks, please click on
* The UK blue chip index closed up 0.2 percent at 6,778.56 points on Wednesday.
* U.S. FEDERAL RESERVE: The Federal Reserve on Wednesday expressed confidence the U.S. economic recovery was on track and hinted at a slightly more aggressive pace of interest rate increases starting next year.
* London copper turned lower on Thursday amid doubts over the momentum of global economic growth and its impact on metals demand, while nickel prices sank further after a chunky build in exchange stocks.
* Brent crude held near a nine-month high above $114 a barrel on Thursday supported by concerns about potential supply disruptions due to fighting in Iraq.
* ROLLS-ROYCE : Britain’s Rolls-Royce said it planned to return 1 billion pounds ($1.7 billion) to investors through a share buyback, passing on the proceeds from the sale of its energy turbine business which was announced in May.
* BT /BSKYB : Britain’s telecommunications regulator on Thursday proposed setting guidelines for the margins BT has to maintain when selling its superfast fibre product to rivals, to allow others to profitably match its prices.
* MAN GROUP : Fund management company Man Group said it was buying Numeric Holdings for an initial cash amount of $219 million.
* GO-AHEAD GROUP : Transport company Go-Ahead Group said it saw its rail unit beating expectations for its full-year results.
* DARTY : Electrical goods retailer Darty posted higher profits.
* CARILLION : Support services company Carillion said it had been awarded two contracts worth 300 million pounds.
* SPORTS DIRECT : Mike Ashley’s Sports Direct said on Wednesday it had bought a 4.8 percent stake in MySale Group, an Australian fashion sales site that listed on the London stock market earlier this month.
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; Editing by Alistair Smout)