March 8 (Reuters) - Britain's FTSE 100 .FTSE index is seen opening down 8.5 points on Wednesday, according to financial bookmakers.
* The blue-chip FTSE 100 .FTSE closed 0.2 percent lower on Tuesday, with negative share moves seen by a string of firms following their poor earnings updates offsetting gains in some firms that advanced on the back of a weaker pound.
* BHP BILLITON: BHP Billiton BHP.AX BLT.L , fresh from signing a joint venture to develop an oilfield off Mexico, remains on the lookout for more oil assets, as it is more bullish on oil than gas over the next few years, its petroleum chief said on Wednesday. ROYAL DUTCH SHELL: Royal Dutch Shell RDSa.L is ramping up its North American shale output earlier than planned to lock in quick returns from what has become one of its most profitable businesses, the head of Shell's unconventional energy business said. GLENCORE: Glencore 's GLEN.L chief Ivan Glasenberg and a top executive from Qatar's state wealth fund QIA will likely join the board of Rosneft ROSN.MM this year following their purchase of a stake in the Kremlin oil major, industry sources told Reuters. ITV: British media companies BBC Worldwide and ITV Plc ITV.L launched BritBox in the United States on Tuesday, a new subscription-based video streaming service that includes iconic British shows including "Blackadder", "Fawlty Towers" and "East Enders". BANK OF ENGLAND: The Bank of England's new deputy governor Charlotte Hogg was urged to quit by a lawmaker on Tuesday after she admitted failing to declare a potential conflict of interest about her brother's role at Barclays BARC.L , a bank overseen by the BoE. BRITAIN-BUDGET: Britain's finance minister Philip Hammond will say on Wednesday he will not relax his grip on the public purse, despite the economy withstanding the initial Brexit shock, as the challenge of actually leaving the European Union approaches. BRITAIN-JOBS: British businesses are hiring permanent staff at the fastest rate in a year and starting salaries have risen by the most in 11 months, recruiters said on Wednesday, suggesting the job market remains robust even as consumer spending falters. BREXIT: Britain's upper house of parliament voted on Tuesday to give lawmakers more power to reject the final terms of the country's exit from the European Union, ignoring pleas from Prime Minister Theresa May's government not to hamstring their negotiations. OIL: Oil futures fell in Asian trade on Wednesday after industry data pointed to a potential ninth straight week of inventory builds, renewing concerns about an oversupply of oil despite output curbs by OPEC and non-OPEC members. For more on the factors affecting European stocks, please click on: cpurl://apps.cp./cms/?pageId=livemarkets
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