(Updates futures, adds news items)
July 21 (Reuters) – Britain’s FTSE 100 index is seen opening steady on Wednesday, with futures marginally up 0.13%.
* ANTOFAGASTA: Chilean miner Antofagasta said on Wednesday copper production in the first half of 2021 fell 2.8% to 361,500 tonnes from the same year-ago period, due to lower recoveries and grades at some operations.
* FOXTONS: London-based real estate agent Foxtons Group said it is reviewing strategic options for its mortgage broking business, Alexander Hall Associates Ltd, including a potential sale.
*RIO: Miner Rio Tinto decided to shut a furnace at its Richards Bay Minerals project in South Africa, as supply of the raw material used to fuel it was hampered by an “escalation in the security situation”.
* ROYAL MAIL: Royal Mail Plc said Britons were having fewer parcels delivered to their homes as pandemic restrictions eased across the country, even as the postal company reported a 12.5% rise in first-quarter group revenue.
* NEXT: British fashion retailer Next said it had soundly beaten its expectations for full-price sales, with a rise of 19% in the last 11 weeks compared with two years ago, and as a result it was increasing its profit guidance.
* RIO: Rio Tinto Ltd said it has reached an agreement with stakeholders of the Bougainville community to look into potential environmental damage and human rights breaches at a copper mine it ran decades ago.
* INSURANCE: The cost of a comprehensive car insurance policy in Britain fell 12% in the second quarter to its lowest level since early 2016 due to COVID-19 lockdowns, although it might rebound to pre-pandemic levels as restrictions ease, a survey showed on Wednesday.
* AVIVA: British insurer Aviva called for urgent action from policymakers, developers and insurers to protect homes and businesses from the impact of climate change, saying most were ill-prepared to handle extreme weather.
* ECONOMY: Britain’s economic bounce-back from the coronavirus lockdowns cooled in June despite a surge in business for the country’s hospitality sector, according to a survey which echoed other signs that the has lost some of its pace.
* ST. MODWEN: St. Modwen Properties said on Tuesday the Blackstone-backed firm, which plans to take the UK logistics and residential property firm private in a $1.75 billion deal, has entered into a loan agreement to fund the transaction.
* OIL: Oil prices fell on Wednesday after an industry report showed an unexpected build-up in U.S. oil inventories last week, which heightened worries about a resurgence in COVID-19 infections potentially dampening fuel demand.
* GOLD: Gold eased as the dollar emerged as the preferred safe-haven bet amid fears that the highly contagious Delta coronavirus variant may stall a global economic recovery, while a rebound in U.S. bond yields further pressured bullion prices.
* Miners and bank stocks helped the FTSE 100 rebound on Tuesday after surging coronavirus cases and fears of an economic slowdown pushed the index to a two-month low in the previous session.
* For more on the factors affecting European stocks, please click on:
TODAY’S UK PAPERS
> Financial Times
> Other business headlines (Reporting by Shanima A in Bengaluru)