(Adds company news items)
Dec 27 (Reuters) - Britain's FTSE 100 futures were up 0.98 percent ahead of the cash market open on Thursday.
* EARTHPORT: Visa Inc is buying Earthport Plc, which provides cross-border payment services to banks and businesses, for 198 million pounds ($250.6 million) in cash, a unit of the U.S.-based payments network said on Thursday.
* PLUS500: Plus500 Ltd expects its 2018 financial results to top current market expectations, led partly by market volatility in recent months, the online trading platform said on Thursday.
* RIO TINTO: Anglo-Australian miner Rio Tinto, is preparing to take its Iron Ore Company of Canada business public in the first half of 2019 by dual-listing it in New York and Toronto, people familiar with the situation told Reuters.
* GOLD: Gold rose on Thursday as global growth worries and volatility in stock markets boosted demand for the safe-haven metal, but gains were capped by a sharp rebound in equities.
* OIL: Oil fell on Thursday after soaring 8 percent in the previous session, as worries over a glut in crude supply and concerns over a faltering global economy pressured prices even as a stock market surge offered support.
* The UK blue chip index closed down 0.5 percent on Monday as world stocks fell on reports that U.S. President Donald Trump privately discussed firing the head of the Federal Reserve and a partial U.S. government shutdown.
* For more on the factors affecting European stocks, please click on: cpurl://apps.cp./cms/?pageId=livemarkets
> Financial Times
> Other business headlines (Reporting by Tanishaa Nadkar in Bengaluru)