(Adds futures, news items)
March 18 (Reuters) - Britain's FTSE 100 .FTSE index is seen opening 30 points higher at 6,793 on Thursday, according to financial bookmakers, with futures .FFIc1 up 0.24% ahead of the cash market open.
* OCADO: Ocado (LON: OCDO ) Retail said revenue rose 39.7% in its first quarter to Feb. 28. PREMIER OIL: Shares in Harbour Energy, to be created from the merger of Premier Oil PMO.L and private equity owned Chrysaor, will start trading in London on April 1, Premier said. NATIONAL GRID: National Grid NG.L said it had agreed to buy Western Power Distribution (WPD), from U.S. company PPL Corp (NYSE: PPL ) PPL.N for 7.8 billion pounds. 888 HOLDINGS: 888 Holdings 888.L posted higher annual adjusted core earnings and signalled strong momentum in 2021 so far. FEVERTREE: Fever-Tree FEVR.L forecast better 2021 revenues with at-home drinking catching on. NATIONAL EXPRESS: National Express NEX.L said earnings fell 64% in 2020 as the pandemic impacted passenger numbers on its bus and coach operations. OSB GROUP: OSB Group OSBO.L said on Wednesday it had "very recently become aware of potential fraudulent activity" involving a third party it provides funding lines to and had hired forensic experts Smith & Williamson to investigate. VODAFONE: Vodafone VOD.L has priced shares in infrastructure unit Vantage Towers VTWRn.DE at 24 euros each, valuing the firm at 12.1 billion euros, Vantage Towers said. U.S. FED: The U.S. economy is heading for its strongest growth in nearly 40 years, the Federal Reserve said on Wednesday, and central bank policymakers are pledging to keep their foot on the gas despite an expected surge of inflation. ASTRAZENECA: AstraZeneca AZN.L said its scheduled deliveries of COVID-19 vaccines to Britain are unaffected and supply chain in the country is not experiencing disruption, after Britain said vaccine supplies would dip at the end of March. COVID-19: Britain's supply of coronavirus vaccines is "lumpy", health minister Matt Hancock said on Wednesday after a letter warned there would be a significant reduction in the amount of vaccine available from March 29. OIL: Oil prices dropped after official data showed a sustained rise in U.S. crude and fuel inventories. The UK blue-chip index .FTSE closed 0.6% lower on Wednesday. For more on the factors affecting European stocks, please click on: LIVE/
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