(Adds company news items and futures)
Jan 31 (Reuters) - Britain’s FTSE 100 index is seen opening 14 points higher at 6,956 on Thursday, according to financial bookmakers, with FTSE 100 futures up 0.28 percent ahead of the cash market open.
* BT GROUP: BT Group’s outgoing CEO Gavin Patterson said he was handing over a company with good momentum after it reported third-quarter adjusted revenue and core earnings just ahead of market forecasts on Thursday and reiterated its guidance for the year.
Diageo Plc: Diageo Plc, the world’s largest spirits company, reported higher half-year sales on Thursday, helped by strength in India and China.
* BRITVIC: British soft drinks company Britvic Plc on Thursday reported higher first-quarter revenue, driven by sales of low sugar and fruit-based beverages.
* FOXTONS GROUP: Estate agent Foxtons Group Plc said on Wednesday transactions in 2018 fell from last year’s historically low levels in London, making it one of the “toughest sales markets” ever.
* BERRY GLOBAL: U.S.-based Berry Global Group said on Thursday it was considering a possible cash offer for RPC Group RPC.L, rivalling Apollo Global Management’s APO.N 3.3 billion pounds ($4.33 billion) deal to buy the British packaging products maker.
* Royal Dutch Shell: Royal Dutch Shell’s profit jumped by more than a third in 2018 to $21.4 billion, the highest since 2014, as the oil and gas producer vowed to stick to spending discipline.
* LLOYDS: Britain’s Lloyds Banking Group is to cut a further 490 jobs as deep cost-cutting by high street banks continues to bite.
* GOLD: Gold prices on Thursday held near eight-month highs hit in the previous session, as the dollar weakened after the U.S. Federal Reserve paused its monetary tightening cycle, putting bullion on course for its fourth straight monthly gain.
* OIL: Oil prices rose for a third day on Thursday, pushed up by lower imports into the United States amid OPEC efforts to tighten the market, and as Venezuela struggles to keep up its crude exports after Washington imposed sanctions on the nation. * EX-DIVS: No FTSE 100 companies will trade ex-dividend this week.
* The UK blue chip index closed 1.58 percent up at 6,941.63 on Wednesday, after a sharp fall in sterling overnight when British lawmakers voted down a proposal in parliament that aimed to prevent a potentially chaotic “no-deal” Brexit.
* For more on the factors affecting European stocks, please click on:
> Financial Times
> Other business headlines Multimedia versions of Reuters Top News are now available for: * 3000 Xtra : visit http://topnews.session.rservices.com * For Top News : http://topnews.reuters.com (Reporting by Adil Bhat in Bengaluru)