Dec 19 - Britain’s FTSE 100 index is expected to open 14 points higher at 7,555 on Thursday, according to financial bookmakers.
* WOODFORD: Veteran British money manager Neil Woodford is now looking to expand his presence in China, a person familiar with the matter said on Wednesday, months after he was forced to suspend his flagship equity fund.
* ANTOFAGASTA: Chile’s Antofagasta said on Wednesday that it had kicked off the environmental permitting process for its $1.7 billion Twin Metals copper, nickel and platinum mining project in the United States after the Trump administration overturned an Obama-era decision to protect a nearby wilderness area.
* HSBC: The banking arm of French mail operator La Poste is exploring a bid for HSBC France’s retail activities as part of its diversification efforts, sources with knowledge of the matter told Reuters.
* IAG: British Airways parent company IAG urged Prime Minister Boris Johnson and his new government on Wednesday to conduct an independent assessment into Heathrow airport expansion plans.
* BANKS: Bank of England Deputy Governor Sam Woods said on Wednesday he would meet banks in the first quarter of 2020 to check on whether regulations are hampering their ability to ditch the use of the Libor interest rate benchmark.
* EX-DIVS: Burberry and United Utilities will trade without entitlement to their latest dividend pay-out on Thursday, trimming 0.6 points off the FTSE 100 according to Reuters calculations
* The UK blue chip index added 0.2% on its sixth day of gains on Wednesday , its longest winning streak since June, outperforming European peers thanks to gains in exporter stocks, which benefited from a weaker pound and helped overpower losses in domestically-exposed housebuilders.
* UK CORPORATE DIARY: None
* For more on the factors affecting European stocks, please click on:
> Financial Times
> Other business headlines (Reporting by Pushkala Aripaka in Bengaluru)