Sept 3 (Reuters) - Britain's FTSE 100 .FTSE index is seen opening 18 points higher at 5,959 on Thursday, according to financial bookmakers.
* GSK/SANOFI: French drugmaker Sanofi SASY.PA and its British peer GSK GSK.L have started a clinical trial for a protein-based COVID-19 vaccine candidate, as pharmaceutical companies race to develop treatments against the COVID-19 pandemic. METALS: London copper prices rose as data from China showed a steady economic recovery in the world's biggest copper consumer after the hit from the COVID-19 pandemic. MET/L
* GOLD: Gold recouped some of the previous session's hefty losses as the dollar steadied, although gains were capped by an uptick in risk appetite on recent better-than-expected economic data. GOL/
* OIL: Oil prices edged up, but held near multi-week lows hit overnight after U.S. data showed gasoline demand fell and recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic was lagging. O/R
* The UK blue-chip index .FTSE rose for the first time in four sessions on Wednesday as a surge in house prices to record highs powered stocks of homebuilders, with Barratt jumping to the top of the FTSE 100. .L
* UK CORPORATE DIARY:
Gem Diamonds Ltd
Headlam Group Plc
* For more on the factors affecting European stocks, please click on: LIVE/
TODAY'S UK PAPERS
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