(Adds company news, futures)
May 4 (Reuters) - Britain’s FTSE 100 index is seen opening 16 points higher on Thursday, according to financial bookmakers, with futures up 0.5 percent ahead of the cash market open.
* ROYAL DUTCH: Royal Dutch Shell reported a sharp rise in net profit on Thursday, ahead of analyst forecasts and supported by stronger oil prices and improved refining margins.
* RSA: London-listed insurer RSA posted a 14 percent rise in first-quarter net written premiums on Thursday and said operating profits were ahead of plan, helped by below-average weather-related losses.
* RANDGOLD: Randgold Resources said profits and production fell in its first quarter while costs rose due to a labour strike at two of its mines.
* G4S: Global security firm G4S reported a strong start to the year on Thursday, with revenues up almost 9 percent thanks to good demand for its services around the world.
* LANCASHIRE: Insurer Lancashire Holdings Ltd reported an 8 percent rise in first-quarter profit as it moderated its risk exposure against a tough underwriting environment.
* GLENCORE: Glencore on Thursday raised its full-year marketing EBIT (earnings before interest and tax) guidance to between $2.3 billion and $2.6 billion from $2.2 billion to $2.5 billion and said first quarter output experienced some weather-related disruption.
* MORRISONS: Morrisons beat forecasts as Britain’s fourth-biggest supermarket operator reported a sixth consecutive quarter of underlying sales growth.
* IMAGINATION: Imagination Technologies said it had started a “dispute resolution procedure” with Apple, its biggest customer, after failing to resolve a standoff over licensing between the two companies.
* RIO: Global miner Rio Tinto RIO.AX, RIO.L said on Thursday it is watching for signs of a revival in domestic iron ore mining in China later this year to reduce reliance on imports amid firmer ore prices.
* NEXT: Britain’s Next lowered the top end of its profit forecast for the year on Thursday, saying the consumer environment remained challenging, as it reported a 3 percent fall in full-price sales for the 13 weeks to April 29.
* BHP: Australia warned on Thursday that a push by activist investor Elliott Management to ditch global miner BHP Billiton’s dual listing may be a criminal offence and could be subject to civil penalties.
* ROYAL BANK: Investor advisory firm Institutional Shareholder Services has advised shareholders in Royal Bank of Scotland to vote against its remuneration policy next week because it is unclear how bonuses will be paid out to senior directors.
* ROYAL DUTCH: Royal Dutch Shell Plc resumed on Wednesday afternoon the restart of the heavy oil hydrocracker at its 235,000 barrel per day (bpd) Convent, Louisiana, refinery, said a source familiar with plant operations.
* GLENCORE: Miner-trader Glencore Plc has hired the Bank of Nova Scotia to sell a portfolio of royalties, including a royalty on the Antamina copper-zinc mine in Peru, four people familiar with the process told Reuters.
* OIL: Oil prices settled slightly higher on Wednesday after a choppy trading session as the market digested U.S. government data showing that while there were signs a crude glut may be receding, inventories remained large with gasoline demand weak.
* GOLD: Gold fell to a one-month low as the dollar firmed on Wednesday, after the U.S. Federal Reserve kept interest rates unchanged as expected and the market reduced expectations of a surprise win by France’s far-right presidential candidate.
* COPPER: Copper tumbled 3.5 percent on Wednesday after hitting a three-week high in the previous session, as supply fears were eased by a large rise in stocks and worries over Chinese demand pulled down prices of steel and iron ore.
* EX-DIVS: Croda, InterContinental Hotels Group, Kingfisher , London Stock Exchange Group, Unilever will trade without entitlement to their latest dividend pay-out on Thursday, trimming 3.1 points off the FTSE 100 according to Reuters calculations.
* The UK blue chip index closed down 0.2 percent at 7,234.53 points at its close on Wednesday, weighed down by weaker commodity stocks, while supermarket Sainsbury’s dropped after an underwhelming earnings update.
* For more on the factors affecting European stocks, please click on: cpurl://apps.cp./cms/?pageId=livemarkets
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