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March 12 (Reuters) - Britain’s FTSE 100 index is seen opening up 8 points higher at 7,233 on Monday, according to financial bookmakers, with futures up 0.37 percent ahead of the cash market open.
* ASTRAZENECA: AstraZeneca now expects a key lung cancer study of two immunotherapy drugs to produce overall survival results in the second half of 2018, rather than the first half.
* GKN-MELROSE: Melrose Industries raised its offer for GKN, the British engineering company which it is pursuing through a hostile takeover, stating that the new bid represented a final offer and would not be increased under any circumstances.
* HIKMA: Hikma Pharmaceuticals Plc said on Monday it plans a new clinical study on its generic version of GlaxoSmithKline’s GSK.L popular lung drug Advair, as it looks to resolve an ongoing dispute with the Food and Drug Administration over plans to launch the drug in the U.S.
* RECKITT BENCKISER: Reckitt Benckiser has no regrets about its $17 billion acquisition of Mead Johnson last year, its chief executive said, even though there are concerns it may now be too stretched to buy Pfizer’s PFE.N coveted consumer health business.
* SAUDI ARAMCO IPO: British officials have been informed by their Saudi counterparts that oil giant Saudi Aramco’s IPO-ARMO.SE initial public offering is likely to be delayed until 2019, the Financial Times reported.
* GOLD: Gold prices were steady on Monday as the U.S. dollar inched lower, with the latest U.S. jobs report easing fears of inflation and faster U.S. rate hikes.
* OIL: Oil markets edged up on Monday on the back of a drop in the number of U.S. rigs drilling for more production and as the U.S. economy continued to create jobs, which industry hopes will drive higher fuel demand.
* The UK blue chip FTSE 100 index closed 0.3 percent higher at 7,224.51 points on Friday, joining in a broader equity rally following supportive U.S. jobs data which calmed investor nerves over tighter monetary policy.
* 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 Siju Varghese)