(Adds company news and futures)
Feb 15 (Reuters) - Britain’s FTSE 100 index is seen opening 35 points higher at 7,248.8 on Thursday, according to financial bookmakers, with futures up 0.60 percent ahead of the cash market open.
* CONVATEC: British medical devices firm ConvaTec said 2017 profit fell 3.3 percent, bogged down by supply issues at its top two divisions and lower sales from new products.
* LANCASHIRE: Property and casualty insurer Lancashire Holdings Ltd forecast that 2018 would be another challenging year for the industry, and swung to a full-year loss as it weathered the costliest year ever for insurers and reinsurers due to natural catastrophes.
* RELX: Anglo-Dutch professional information group RELX said it would simplify its corporate structure into a single company after reporting a 6 percent rise in full-year underlying operating profit on Thursday.
* LLOYDS BANKING/STANDARD LIFE: Lloyds Banking Group and Scottish Widows have sent notices to Standard Life Aberdeen to terminate investment management relations, Standard Life Aberdeen said in a statement on Thursday.
* ANTOFAGASTA: Chilean mining company Antofagasta received environmental approval for a major, $1.1 billion revamp of its Los Pelambres copper mine, the regional government of Coquimbo said on Wednesday.
* GVC/LADBROKES: Online gambling company GVC has given away its Turkey business, hoping the move will help smooth its takeover of Ladbrokes after GVC’s lenders baulked at its exposure to a country where internet betting is illegal.
* SKY: Hedge fund Polygon Global Partners, which is an investor in Sky , said the outcome of the English Premier League soccer rights auction supported its view that the takeover by Twenty-First Century Fox undervalues the British company.
The decision by regulators that Twenty-First Century Fox would be a “fit and proper” owner of Sky will be challenged in court, campaign group Avaaz said on Wednesday.
* Shire: Shire, the pharma firm splitting its rare disease and hyperactivity drugs into two units, said sales would grow in the mid-single digits and profits by a lower percentage than the top line this year after earnings per share rose 16 percent in 2017.
* SHELL-NIGERIA: The Court of Appeal in London ruled on Wednesday that two Nigerian communities cannot pursue Royal Dutch Shell in English courts over oil spills in Nigeria’s Delta region.
* OIL: Oil prices on Thursday extended gains from the previous session, pushed up by a weak dollar and by comments from Saudi Arabia that it would rather see an undersupplied market than end a deal with OPEC and Russia to withhold production.
* GOLD: Gold prices rose further on Thursday, supported by a weaker dollar and as investors bought the yellow metal as a hedge against inflation after a faster-than-expected rise in U.S. consumer prices last month.
* COPPER: London copper rose for a fourth day to the highest in 10 days on Thursday, supported by a decline in the dollar and robust prospects for global growth.
* BRITAIN-EU: The European Union’s remaining member states want a “close and deep” relationship with Britain after its departure from the bloc, but it is for Britain to make proposals as to how it imagines that relationship, a German government spokesman said.
* EX-DIVS: AstraZeneca, BP, Hargreaves Lansdown, Royal Dutch Shell A, Royal Dutch Shell B, Unilever will trade without entitlement to their latest dividend pay-out on Thursday, trimming 24.4 points off the FTSE 100 according to Reuters calculations
* The UK blue chip index ended the day up 0.6 percent on Wednesday, as investors shrugged off a hotly anticipated data release showing higher than expected U.S. inflation.
* For more on the factors affecting European stocks, please click on: cpurl://apps.cp./cms/?pageId=livemarkets
TODAY‘S UK PAPERS
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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 Harish Bhaskar)