(Adds company news items and futures)
March 14 (Reuters) - Britain’s FTSE 100 is seen opening 20 points lower at 7,139 on Thursday, according to financial bookmakers, while FTSE 100 futures were down 0.17 percent ahead of the cash market open.
* DEBENHAMS: British department store group Debenhams said on Thursday it would give “careful consideration” to a proposal from its biggest shareholder Sports Direct SPD.L to provide a 150 million pounds ($199 million) unsecured loan.
* DFS FURNITURE: DFS Furniture Plc on Thursday reported a surge in pretax profit in the first half, boosted by online sales and as it benefited from orders placed by customers who had deferred their purchases due to Britain’s unusually hot summer in 2018.
* ONESAVINGS: OneSavings Bank Plc has agreed to merge with online mortgage bank Charter Court Financial in an all-share deal, the lender said on Thursday, giving it more heft as it takes on the bigger banks in Britain.
* CAPITA: Britain’s Capita posted a 26 fall in 2018 profit before tax, slightly ahead of guidance, as it battles to turn around its UK-dependent business in a sluggish economic climate.
* JUST GROUP: British retirement services specialist Just Group said on Thursday it would raise money through a placing to investors and debt offering, as it looks to strengthen its balance sheet amid changes to capital requirement rules.
* SPORTS DIRECT: Sports Direct said on Wednesday it offered Debenhams an interest-free loan in return for a further 5 percent stake, just as the department store chain was on the brink of securing funds to fend off a bid from Sports Direct’s founder, Mike Ashley, to take charge of the company.
* DRAX: Britain’s Drax has been given government approval to build a 90 million pound ($118 million) gas plant in the east of England, the company said on Tuesday.
* GOLD: Gold fell on Thursday as the dollar regained some ground and uncertainty over Brexit eased, but the metal held close to a two-week high hit in the previous session as tepid U.S. inflation data cemented expectations that the Federal Reserve would hold rates.
* OIL: Oil prices nudged higher on Thursday to sit just off a four-month high reached in the previous session as investors focused on global production cuts and supply disruptions in Venezuela.
* EX-DIVS: Anglo American,CRH,Gvc Holdings and Land Secs. will trade without entitlement to their latest dividend pay-out on Thursday, trimming 3.6 points off the FTSE 100 according to Reuters calculations
* The UK blue chip index closed 0.11 percent up at 71559.19 on Wednesday with gains in oil majors offset by a drop in tobacco stocks and as investors remained cautious before of a second pivotal Brexit vote of the week.
* For more on the factors affecting European stocks, please click on:
> Financial Times
> Other business headlines Multimedia versions of Reuters Top News are now available for: * 3000 Xtra : visit topnews.session.rservices.com * For Top News : topnews.reuters.com (Reporting by Adil Bhat in Bengaluru)