LONDON, Jan 8 (Reuters) - Britain’s FTSE 100 index is seen opening up by 72 to 76 points, or as much as 1.2 percent higher, on Thursday, according to financial bookmakers. For more on the factors affecting European stocks, please click on
* The UK blue chip index closed up 0.8 percent at 6,419.83 points on Wednesday.
* TESCO : - Britain’s biggest grocer Tesco TSCO.L plans to sell assets and cut hundreds of millions of pounds of costs to fund lower prices in store as part of its plan to fight back from the biggest crisis in its 95-year-history.
* MARKS & SPENCER : Marks & Spencer posted a worse than expected 5.8 percent drop in underlying sales of clothing, gifts and homeware in its Christmas quarter, exacerbated by online delivery problems.
* STANDARD CHARTERED : Standard Chartered is closing the bulk of its global equities business and axing 4,000 retail banking jobs as Peter Sands moves to aggressively cut costs to reverse the Asia-focused bank’s fortunes, according to a memo seen by Reuters.
* HAYS : British recruiting firm Hays reported an 11 percent rise in underlying second-quarter net fees, after it saw strong demand in Asia, continental Europe and Britain, adding to hopes that a global economic recovery is under way.
* TALKTALK : TalkTalk Telecom Group announced the acquisition of the blinkbox movies business and the Tesco broadband and voice base from Tesco.
* TRAINLINE.COM: Britain’s biggest online rail booking system Trainline.com announced its intention to float on the London Stock Exchange.
* PENDRAGON : Franchised motor dealer operator Pendragon said its full-year results would be ahead of market expectations.
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 Atul Prakash)