March 19 (Reuters) - Britain's FTSE 100 .FTSE index is seen opening down 191 points on Thursday, according to financial bookmakers.
* BRITISH OIL & GAS: Britain's oil and gas sector needs financial help to survive, industry body OGUK said, as the oil price crash triggered by the coronavirus and a Saudi-Russian price war means they may be unable to keep producing hydrocarbons in the North Sea. SYNAIRGEN: British pharmaceutical company Synairgen SYNG.L said on Wednesday it had the go-ahead to test a drug that could boost the lung function of patients with coronavirus, potentially assisting in the global fight against the pandemic. IRISH BANKS: Ireland's five retail banks agreed to implement a loan repayment break of up to three months for those affected by the spread of coronavirus as the central bank on Wednesday cut the amount of capital lenders must set aside as extra protection. ROYAL DUTCH SHELL: Royal Dutch Shell Plc RDSA.L will temporarily suspend construction activities on a multi-billion dollar ethane cracker being constructed along the Ohio River in Beaver County, Pennsylvania, amid concerns about coronavirus spreading, the company said in a statement late Wednesday. GOLD: Gold prices fell more than 1% on Thursday in volatile trade, as investors sought to hoard cash in unstable market conditions despite additional measures from the European Central Bank to deal with the economic fallout from the coronavirus outbreak. OIL: Oil prices rose on Thursday but pared early gains as investors tried to assess how effective massive stimulus by central banks will be in shoring up the global economy as the shock from the coronavirus pandemic deepens. The UK blue-chip index .FTSE closed down 4% on Wednesday as more companies warned of a severe hit to earnings from the coronavirus outbreak even as policymakers pushed for fresh stimulus measures to support global growth. UK CORPORATE DIARY:
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