* Britain’s FTSE 100 index is seen opening up 5 to 8 points, or 0.1 percent, on Friday, according to financial bookmakers. Futures on the index were up 0.3 percent by 0617 GMT. For more on the factors affecting European stocks, please click on
* Chinese economic growth slowed to 7.4 percent year-on-year in the third quarter, but the figures were in line with expectations, reassuring investors. Industrial output and retail sales, meanwhile, beat forecasts in September.
* U.S. an Asian bourses moved higher overnight, with the Japanese Nikkei index hitting a three week high after the Chinese GDP data.
* Copper and oil prices also moved higher, offering support to Britain’s heavyweight mining and energy stocks.
* The euro zone crisis will remain in the spotlight as European leaders try to bridge deep differences over plans for a banking union at a summit. But no substantial decisions are expected, reviving concerns about complacency in tackling the three-year-old debt crisis.
* On the data front, UK retail sales for September and weekly U.S. jobs figures are due..
* The UK benchmark closed up 40.37 points, or 0.7 percent, at 5,910.91 on Wednesday, ending back above the 5,900 level for the first time since Sept. 14.
* The UK corporate diary includes trading updates from Evraz and several mid-caps.
* SABMILLER : SABMiller says lager volumes for the first six months were 4 percent ahead of the prior year.
* POLYUS : Polyus Gold confirms 2012 production outlook and estimates sales for the first nine months at $2 billion.
* EVRAZ : Russia’s steel major Evraz decreased crude production by 3 percent to 3.9 million tonnes in the third quarter compared to the previous three months due to lower production at its Czech and South African enterprises. The company also said its operations will be affected by “seasonal trends” in the fourth quarter, including the slowdown in construction activity in Russia.
* MAN GROUP : Man Group posted its fifth consecutive quarter of outflows on Thursday, as the embattled hedge fund firm’s struggle to revive its fortunes is hampered by poor performance from its flagship fund.
* BP : Russian state oil company Rosneft was closing in on control of privately-held TNK-BP on Wednesday, sending its powerful boss to London for talks with 50 percent shareholder BP after the tycoons who own the other half agreed to sell.
Separately, the bosses of BP Plc and Azerbaijan’s state oil company SOCAR met on Wednesday to discuss the future of the Azeri ACG oilfield just days after the country accused the British oil company of making “false promises” about output there.
* RBS : State-controlled Royal Bank of Scotland is preparing for the British government to start selling its shares in the bank in two years, its chairman said on Wednesday.
* BUMI : The chairman of crisis-hit Bumi Plc, Samin Tan, faces questions over whether he was working on a controversial “divorce deal” with the mining group’s Indonesian backers months before it was announced, according to the Telegraph.
* FULLER SMITH & TURNER : Shares in the regional pub owner and brewer of London Pride rose on Wednesday amid gossip that rival Young & Co , together with a private equity partner, was lining up a 322 million pounds or 1,000 pence a share offer for the company, according to the Daily Mail market report.
TODAY‘S UK PAPERS
> Financial Times
> Other business headlines Multimedia versions of Reuters Top News are now available for: * 3000 Xtra : visit* BridgeStation: view story .134(Reporting By Toni Vorobyova)