March 1 (Reuters) - Britain's FTSE 100 .FTSE index is seen opening 42points lower at 7,190 on Thursday, according to financial bookmakers.
* COMCAST/SKY: U.S. cable operator Comcast CMCSA.O has informally notifiedthe European Commission of its intention to bid for Britain's pay-TV group Sky SKYB.L , triggering the regulatory process for the $31 billion deal. TESCO/BOOKER: Tesco's TSCO.L 4 billion pound ($5.5 billion) takeover ofBooker BOK.L was overwhelmingly backed by shareholders of both companies onWednesday, clearing the final hurdles to the creation of a new powerhouse inBritain's 200 billion pounds-a-year food market. MELROSE/GKN: Investor adviser PIRC has told shareholders in MelroseIndustries MRON.L to oppose its 7 billion pound ($10 billion) bid forengineering group GKN GKN.L , putting it at odds with two other proxy votingfirms. BREXIT/BRITISH CARMAKERS: Britain must maintain free trade and EuropeanUnion regulatory alignment for the automotive industry as Brexit offers noupside for the sector, a committee of lawmakers said. UK AUTOS: Just over 60 percent of recent or prospective car buyers havehad their decision-making influenced by Britain's exit from the European Union,including some delaying a purchase, according to a survey by Auto Trader AUTOA.L . EX-DIVS: Barclays BARC.L , Berkeley Group BKGH.L , easyJet EZJ.L , RioTinto RIO.L and RSA Insurance Group RSA.L will trade without entitlement totheir latest dividend pay-out on Thursday, trimming 8.48 points off the FTSE 100according to Reuters calculations. The UK blue chip index closed down 0.7 percent at 7,231.91 points onWednesday, dragged down by mining companies after weak factory data from China,while comments from U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell reignitedexpectations of more interest rate hikes in the United States. For more on the factors affecting European stocks, please click on: cpurl://apps.cp./cms/?pageId=livemarkets
* UK CORPORATE DIARY: EVRAZ plc
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