(Adds futures, company news)
LONDON, March 13 (Reuters) - Britain’s FTSE 100 index is seen opening up 12 to 14 points, or 0.2 percent higher on Friday, according to financial bookmakers, with futures firming 0.1 percent by 0728 GMT. For more on the factors affecting European stocks, please click on
* The blue-chip FTSE 100 index was up 0.6 percent at 6,761.07 points by the close. The index is up about 3 percent so far this year.
* UTILITIES - Opposition and Labour party leader Ed Miliband will reiterate his plans to empower the energy regulator to force utility companies to cut bills in line with falling energy prices if he wins May’s general election, according to British media.
* GLAXOSMITHKLINE - GlaxoSmithKline has raised $853 million via a partial sale of Aspen Pharmacare shares.
* OIL COMPANIES - The United Steelworkers union and oil companies have reached a tentative deal to end the largest U.S. refinery strike in 35 years, the labor group and people familiar with the negotiations said on Thursday. The lead negotiator for the companies is Royal Dutch Shell.
Royal Dutch Shell has abandoned two natural gas exploration wells in eastern Ukraine after they were deemed uneconomical, the oil major said on Thursday.
* BANKS - Britain’s banks and other lenders have paid out 18 billion pounds ($27 billion) to compensate borrowers mis-sold payment protection insurance (PPI), after paying out 339 million pounds in December, the financial regulator said.
* POLYUS - Russia’s biggest gold producer Polyus Gold said on Friday its 2014 earnings before interest, taxation, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) rose by 11 percent year-on-year to $1.0 billion, beating Reuters poll of forecasts of $930 million.
* JD WETHERSPOON - The pub operator reported a 4.5 percent rise in like-for-like sales in the first half and said it was aiming to triple coffee and breakfast sales over the next 18 months.
* JOHN WODD GROUP - Energy services firm Wood Group has been awarded a contract by Statoil for engineering modifications and upgrades.
* AFREN - The oil and gas company has reached an agreement in principle to address its short and longer-term funding needs and recapitalise its capital structure.
TODAY‘S UK PAPERS
> Financial Times
> Other business headlines Multimedia versions of Reuters Top News are now available for: * 3000 Xtra : visit topnews.session.rservices.com * BridgeStation: view story .134 For more information on Top News visit topnews.reuters.com (Reporting by Alistair Smout; Editing by Francesco Canepa)