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Sept 8 (Reuters) - Britain’s FTSE 100 index is seen opening down 3 to 5 points on Thursday, according to financial bookmakers, with futures trading up 0.2 percent ahead of the cash market open.
* The UK blue chip index closed 0.3 percent higher on Wednesday at 6,846.58, supported by stronger precious metals and oil company shares as well as by gains at equipment rentals company Ashtead.
* ZOOPLA: Property website Zoopla said annual earnings would hit the top end of forecasts, boosted by a higher number of property listings and growth in its price comparison service, confounding predictions that Brexit would freeze the market.
* ENQUEST: North Sea-focused oil producer EnQuest lowered its full-year production guidance on Thursday after initial output at its new Alma/Galia field was less than expected.
* DIXON CARPHONE: Dixons Carphone, Britain’s biggest consumer electricals and mobile phone retailer, beat forecasts on Thursday with a 4 percent rise in quarterly sales and said it had seen no impact from the vote to leave the European Union in June.
* MICRO FOCUS: Hewlett Packard Enterprise Co will spin off and merge its non-core software assets with Britain’s Micro Focus International Plc in a deal worth $8.8 billion, the companies said on Wednesday.
* LIBERTY MEDIA/F1: Formula One faces its biggest shake-up in decades with the announcement on Wednesday that U.S. cable TV mogul John Malone’s Liberty Media has agreed to take control of the cash-generating glamour sport. The deal, which has an enterprise value of $8 billion according to a company statement, heralds a new era for Formula One, a European-dominated sport that has long sought to break into the U.S. market and win fresh audiences.
* EX-DIVS: Admiral, Antofagasta, CRH, Land Securities, Paddy Power Betfair, RSA, Shire, Standard Life will trade without entitlement to their latest dividend pay-out on Thursday, trimming 2.24 points off the FTSE 100 according to Reuters calculations
* UK SMALL BUSINESSES: Small businesses in Britain remain confident about the economic and political landscape following the historic vote in June to leave the European Union, according to a survey by research firm BDRC Continental.
* UK HOUSING & JOBS: The bounce back in Britain’s economy from the initial shock of the Brexit vote has expanded to the country’s recruitment and housing markets, according to two surveys which had previously painted a bleak outlook.
* OIL: Oil prices extended gains by more than 1.5 percent on Thursday after industry data showed what might be the largest weekly drawdown in crude stocks in over three decades.
* COPPER: London copper was holding near its highest level in a fortnight on Thursday, after a string of softening economic reports pushed back U.S. rate hike expectations and undermined the dollar, while markets waited on China trade data due later.
* For more on the factors affecting European stocks, please click on: cpurl://apps.cp./cms/?pageId=livemarkets
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