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May 18 (Reuters) - Britain’s FTSE 100 index is seen opening 51 points lower on Thursday, according to financial bookmakers.
* THOMAS COOK: Tour operator Thomas Cook posted a rise in revenue in line with expectations on Thursday, and said it was seeing strong customer demand across most of its markets ahead of its key summer season.
* HARGREAVES: British fund supermarket Hargreaves Lansdown on Thursday posted a 10 percent rise in assets in the four months to the end of April, buoyed by new fund and product launches and improved investor sentiment.
* BURBERRY: Britain’s Burberry reported a 21 percent underlying drop in pretax profit to 462 million pounds, dragged down by weak wholesale demand in the United States, and showing the challenge facing Marco Gobbetti when he becomes CEO in July.
* ROYAL MAIL: Royal Mail reported a fall in annual profit on Thursday and warned the drop in letter volumes this year would be at the high end of a previous estimate if business uncertainty persists.
* BHP/ELLIOT: Activist investor Elliott Management on Thursday said a meeting with BHP Billiton Chief Executive Andrew Mackenzie in Barcelona on Wednesday had been “constructive”.
* BP: BP Plc’s first foray into Mexico’s recently opened energy market is proving more promising than expected, and the government should offer more big projects to lure investment, the British oil major’s Mexico boss said in an interview.
* SKY NZ/VODAFONE: New Zealand pay television provider Sky Network TV on Thursday said it had filed a second, more detailed appeal with courts against the Commerce Commission’s decision to bar its purchase of Vodafone’s local unit.
* BREXIT: Brexit has forced the European Union to rethink its flagship capital markets union (CMU) project by broadening its supervisory and geographical reach, a draft EU document showed on Wednesday.
* BRITAIN/EU: Everything from just-in-time auto supply chains to the free movement of workers and even their pet cats and dogs will be thrown into question by Britain’s exit from the European Union, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said.
* INSURERS: Insurers in over 100 countries face a “once in a lifetime” accounting change from January 2021 with the introduction of a uniform international book-keeping standard, details of which will be published on Thursday.
* BANK OF IRELAND: Bank of Ireland has appointed HSBC Holdings Plc executive Francesca McDonagh as its new chief executive officer to succeed Richie Boucher, who will retire on Oct. 2.
* TATA STEEL: A Tata Steel deal to separate its 15 billion-pound ($19 billion) UK pension scheme still leaves many questions unanswered for a potential merger with Thyssenkrupp’s European steel operations, a source close to Thyssenkrupp said.
* EX-DIVS: Compass, HSBC, Imperial Brands, Intertek , Royal Dutch Shell will trade without entitlement to their latest dividend pay-out on Thursday, trimming 20.3 points off the FTSE 100 according to Reuters calculations.
* The UK blue chip index was down 0.25 percent at 7,503.47 points at its close on Wednesday, turning lower as U.S. political developments weighed on European equity markets, with mining stocks and banks the biggest sectoral drags.
* For more on the factors affecting European stocks, please click on: cpurl://apps.cp./cms/?pageId=livemarkets
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> Other business headlines Multimedia versions of Reuters Top News are now available for: * 3000 Xtra : visit topnews.session.rservices.com * For Top News : topnews.reuters.com (Reporting by Rahul B in Bengaluru)