Aug 22 (Reuters) - Britain's FTSE 100 .FTSE index is seen to opening 29 points lower at 7,175 on Thursday, according to financial bookmakers.
* BRITISH AMERICAN TOBACCO: Four dominant e-cigarette makers including a unit of British American Tobacco BATS.L face a probe into the health impacts of their products, as the U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee asked on Wednesday about the firms' research and marketing practices. RYAN AIR: Ryanair RYA.I can still avoid a planned strike by British pilots this week if it agrees to a new framework for talks, the chief of UK pilot union BALPA said on Wednesday. Britain and South Korea will sign a continuity Free Trade Agreement on Thursday to allow businesses to keep trading freely after Brexit at the end of October, the British government said. Major British employers gave average pay rises of 2.6% to staff in the three months to July, the highest pace of increase in more than 10 years, data from industry consultants XpertHR showed on Thursday. HSBC: HSBC Holdings Plc HSBA.L is considering a bid for Asian operations being sold by Aviva Plc AV.L , according to a Bloomberg report. https://bloom.bg/33Z5IZk EX-DIVS: Berkeley Group BKGH.L , Carnival (NYSE: CCL ) CCL.L , Croda International CRDA.L , Imperial Brands IMB.L , London Stock Exchange LSE.L , Prudential PRU.L , Reckitt Benckiser RB.L and Schroders Plc SDR.L will trade without entitlement to its latest dividend pay-out on Thursday, trimming 5.7 points off the FTSE 100 according to Reuters calculations. L/XD
* London's FTSE 100 rose 1.1% on Wednesday as oil majors tracked gains in crude prices and exporters benefitted from a weaker pound, while markets waited for minutes of the U.S. Federal Reserve's July meeting for signs of further policy easing. GOLD: Gold prices were little changed on Thursday, holding above the key $1,500 an ounce level, as investors awaited the Federal Reserve chair's speech at a global central bankers' conclave for clues on future U.S. interest rate cuts. OIL: Oil prices slipped on Thursday, paring earlier gains, weighed down by lingering worries about the global economy and bigger-than-expected builds in oil product inventories in the United States, the world's biggest oil consumer. For more on the factors affecting European stocks, please click on: LIVE/
* UK CORPORATE DIARY:
Antofagasta (LON: ANTO )
ANTO.L Half Year Earnings Release NMC Health
NMC.L Half Year Earnings Release Playtech (LON: PTEC )
PTEC.L Half Year Earnings Release Premier Oil
PMO.L Half Year Earnings Release Laura Ashley ALY.L Half Year Earnings Release
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