April 8 (Reuters) - Britain's FTSE 100 .FTSE index is seen opening 23 points higher at 6,909 points on Thursday, according to financial bookmakers.
* ASTRAZENECA: European Union health ministers failed on Wednesday to agree a common guidance on the use of the AstraZeneca AZN.L COVID-19 vaccine, despite calls for coordination across member states to combat public hesitancy over taking the shot. ASTRAZENECA: Mexican and Brazilian health regulators said on Wednesday they would not limit the use of AstraZeneca's AZN.L COVID-19 shot after Britain's vaccine advisory committee recommended not using it for people under 30, citing rare blood clot risks. ASTRAZENECA: Spain will only give AstraZeneca's coronavirus vaccine to people over 60 years old after European and British regulators found a potential link between the shot and rare brain blood clots. Oil prices fell after official figures showed a big increase in U.S. gasoline stocks, causing concerns about demand for crude weakening in the world's biggest consumer of the resource at a time when supplies around the world are rising. HIRING: British companies sharply stepped up hiring and offered higher pay to new staff last month as they grew more confident about economic recovery and prepared for COVID-19 restrictions to ease, a recruiters body said on Thursday. NATIONAL GRID: Britain should have enough electricity to meet demand over the summer months, the country's National Grid (LON: NG ) Electricity System Operator (ESO) said on Thursday, even though peak demand could be slightly higher than last year. GOLD: Gold prices slipped as investors turned to riskier assets after the U.S. Federal Reserve's latest meeting minutes indicated continued policy support and cemented hopes of a quick economic turnaround. The UK blue-chip index .FTSE ended higher on Wednesday, led by gains in commodity stocks and a weaker pound lifted exporters. UK CORPORATE DIARY:
Statement Johnson Matthey
* For more on the factors affecting European stocks, please click on: LIVE/
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