March 11 (Reuters) - Britain's FTSE 100 .FTSE index is seen opening 14 points higher at 6,740 on Thursday, according to financial bookmakers.
* MARKS & SPENCER: Marks & Spencer MKS.L said it would launch a wave of guest clothing brands on its website this spring, including Hobbs, White Stuff, Joules and Sloggi, in bid to accelerate online growth. RIO TINTO: Rio Tinto (LON: RIO ) RIO.AX said it had signed an agreement to supply the first batch of its aluminium-scandium alloy produced in North America to additive manufacturer and developer Amaero 3DA.AX . BHP: BHP Group BHP.AX is unlikely to make any major acquisitions in the near-term given rocketing commodity prices, and will instead focus on exploration and wringing more value out of existing assets, its chief executive said. ASTRAZENECA: European Medicines Agency said on Wednesday there was no evidence so far linking AstraZeneca's AZN.L COVID-19 vaccine to illnesses in two people who received it in Austria. HSBC: HSBC HSBA.L will phase out its support for the coal industry in the developed world by 2030 and in the developing world by 2040, the bank said. HOUSE PRICES: The slow start to 2021 for Britain's housing market stretched into February, before finance minister Rishi Sunak announced new measures that could revive a property boom that began after the first COVID-19 lockdown last year, a survey showed. GOLD: Gold prices rose after a weaker-than-expected U.S. inflation data halted an advance in Treasury yields and the dollar. OIL: Crude oil prices rose as vaccine rollouts bolstered the economic outlook and U.S. fuel stocks fell sharply. The UK blue-chip index .FTSE closed 0.1% lower on Wednesday as easing inflation concerns pulled down mining and banks stocks. UK CORPORATE DIARY:
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