(Adds futures, news items)
May 27 (Reuters) - Britain's FTSE 100 index .FTSE is seen opening 29 points higher at 6,096 on Wednesday, according to financial bookmakers.
* HAMMERSON: Hammerson HMSO.L said Chief Executive Officer David Atkins will step down by spring 2021 after a decade of managing the British mall operator, while it has launched a search for his replacement. ST JAMES'S PLACE: Asset manager St James 's Place SJP.L reported a modest 1% rise in year-on-year net inflows of 810 million pounds in April as clients stood firm in the face of the impact of the coronavirus on their investments. PROVIDENT FINANCIAL; Doorstep lender Provident Financial Plc PFG.L said tighter underwriting rules led to a drop in business volumes in April, although it added that it saw signs of a modest recovery in May. HALFORDS: British bicycles and car parts retailer Halfords HFD.L said on Wednesday it was reopening 53 of its stores across the country, having implemented social distancing measures to counter the threat of the coronavirus. BRITISH LAND: Real estate firm British Land Co Plc BLND.L racked up a 1.1 billion pound ($1.36 billion) loss last year, thanks to a 26% slump in the value of its retail portfolio, the company said, as it battles the fallout of the coronavirus crisis. LOCKDOWN: British health minister Matt Hancock said he would talk to colleagues about fines imposed on families for breaking lockdown rules, after a top government adviser received widespread public condemnation for his lockdown travel. NUCLEAR PLANT: French utility EDF EDF.PA has submitted an application to Britain's regulators to build the 17-18 billion pound Sizewell C nuclear plant in the east of England, it said. RYANAIR: Low-cost carrier Ryanair RYA.I challenged Germany's 9 billion euro rescue package for Lufthansa LHAG.DE on Tuesday, saying it distorted competition, while the German carrier moves towards finalising the deal next month. METALS: Copper prices climbed as optimism about developing coronavirus vaccines fuelled hopes of a quick rebound in the global economy, though gains were capped amid simmering tensions between the United States and top metals consumer China. GOLD: Gold was trading near a two-week low as optimism around several economies re-opening dulled the metal's safe-haven appeal, although increasing Sino-U.S. frictions over Beijing's proposed security law for Hong Kong tempered losses. OIL: Oil prices fell on Wednesday as concerns over how quickly fuel demand will recover tempered an easing of lockdowns to halt the spread of coronavirus, while U.S.-China tensions added to negative sentiment. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson's plans to lift the coronavirus lockdown from more retailers drove a 1.2% rise in the blue-chip FTSE 100 .FTSE on Tuesday, while an easing of curbs on tourism helped travel stocks. UK PAPERS
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