(Adding company news items, futures)
April 6 (Reuters) - Britain’s FTSE 100 index is seen opening down 67 points at 7,264 on Thursday, according to financial bookmakers, with futures down 0.7 percent ahead of the cash market open.
* UNILEVER: Unilever said on Thursday it will exit its spreads business, increase its margin targets, raise its dividend and review its dual-headed legal structure, as it aims to prove it can deliver near-term growth on its own, following its swift rejection in February of a takeover proposal by Kraft Heinz.
* GULF KEYSTONE: Gulf Keystone Petroleum, an oil producer in Iraq’s Kurdistan region, cut its annual pretax loss to $17 million last year after a debt-for-equity deal saved it from going under.
* CO-OPERATIVE GROUP: Britain’s Co-operative Group, the mutually-owned supermarkets to funeral services group, on Thursday wrote off the value of its stake in the struggling Co-operative Bank.
* SHELL: Royal Dutch Shell sold its stake in a New Zealand gas field while taking over the field’s operating company as part of a plan to possibly divest its holdings in the country later on, the company said Thursday.
* TESCO: UK retailer Tesco Plc is cutting night shifts for shelf stackers in some of its supermarkets in a fresh shakeup that puts 3,000 jobs at risk, The Guardian reported on Wednesday. bit.ly/2oDltUd
* ARAMCO-LSE IPO: British Prime Minister Theresa May and the chief of the London Stock Exchange (LSE) pitched investments in Britain to the head of Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund on Wednesday during a two-day visit to Riyadh.
* OIL: Oil prices fell on Thursday as record U.S. crude inventories underscored that crude markets remain bloated, despite efforts led by OPEC to cut output and prop up prices.
* EX-DIVS: Aviva, GKN, Hikma, Lloyds, Next , Paddy Power Betfair, Pearson, Rentokil Initial , St James’s Place, Smiths Group and Wolseley will trade without entitlement to their latest dividend pay-out on Thursday, trimming 11.75 points off the FTSE 100 according to Reuters calculations
* The UK blue chip FTSE 100 index ended up 0.1 percent at 7,331.68 points on Wednesday, extending gains from the previous session as heavyweight mining and oil stocks rallied, while support services firm DCC also gained after agreeing to buy a business in Hong Kong and Macau.
* For more on the factors affecting European stocks, please click on: cpurl://apps.cp./cms/?pageId=livemarkets
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