LONDON Nov 19 Britain's FTSE 100 index is seen opening up 45-48 points, or as much as 0.9 percent higher on Monday, according to financial bookmakers. For more on the factors affecting European stocks, please click on
* The UK blue chip index sank 72.16 points, or 1.3 percent, on Friday to 5,605.59, taking its weekly losses to 2.8 percent - the steepest since May.
* There is no major domestic economic data set for release on Monday.
* Across the Atlantic, U.S. October existing home sales data is due at 1500 GMT.
* HSBC said it was in talks to sell its $9.3 billion stake in China's Ping An Insurance, stepping up a programme by Europe's biggest bank to shed non-core parts of its business to boost profitability.
* GLENCORE, XSTRATA Commodities trader Glencore is set to all but clinch its $30 billion takeover of Xstrata this week, despite a potential snub for the miner's board if, as expected, investors scrap a controversial pay plan for its managers.
* BP BP plans to spend up to 3.7 billion pounds ($5.9 billion) buying back its shares after agreeing last week to pay record criminal penalties over the Deepwater Horizon disaster, Britain's Sunday Times said in an unsourced report.
* OCADO The online grocer is in talks with its banks to avoid a damaging breach of loan agreements at the end of this month, the Sunday Times said.
* ROYAL DUTCH SHELL Royal Dutch Shell Chief Executive Peter Voser has backed the UK government's "dash for gas". Voser said Shell saw gas as a fuel for the future and planned to invest $20 billion in the sector between 2012 and 2015, the Sunday Telegraph said.
* CENTRICA The British utility Centrica is expected to turn its back on building new nuclear power stations in Britain and instead focus on expansion in the United States, the Mail on Sunday said.
* TESCO The retailer's management shake-up is continuing, with the group's strategy director, Michael Fleming, the latest to leave his post after only 18 months in the role, the Independent on Sunday, said.
* UK CORPORATE DIARY:
INTERTEK GROUP issues a trading update
MITIE GROUP reports first-half results
DIPLOMA reports full-year results
CLS HOLDINGS issues a trading update
CHESNARA issues a trading update
FFASTFILL reports first-half results
MAJESTIC WINE reports first-half results
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($1 = 0.6311 British pounds)
Our top photos from the past week.