(Adds company news items and futures) Britain’s FTSE 100 index is seen opening 15 points higher at 6,984, on Monday, according to financial bookmakers, with FTSE 100 futures down 0.11 percent ahead of the cash market open. * GLAXOSMITHKLINE: GlaxoSmithKline plc Chairman Philip Hampton will step down after more than three and a half years in the role, the drugmaker announced on Monday. * WILLIAM HILL: British bookmaker William Hill said on Monday its full-year adjusted operating profit was expected to be about 15 percent lower than 2017, but added that its U.S. business had broken even in the year.
* JUST EAT: Just Eat,the British takeaway ordering website, said on Monday chief executive Peter Plumb was stepping down with immediate effect.
* MEGGITT: UK engineering firm Meggitt Plc said on Monday it signed a $750 million contract with Pratt & Whitney for supply of components for two of its engines. * SAINSBURY: A British court ruling has indicated that a final regulatory verdict on supermarket operator Sainsbury’s proposed 7.3 billion pound takeover of Walmart unit Asda will be delayed until the end of April from early March. * CO-OPERATIVE GROUP: Co-Operative Group Ltd, Britain’s sixth largest supermarket group, said on Friday it was selling its insurance underwriting business, CIS General Insurance, to motor insurance specialist Markerstudy for 185 million pounds. * S4 CAPITAL: Martin Sorrell is on the lookout for acquisitions to expand his new advertising venture S4 Capital, aiming to capitalise on the disruption sweeping the industry by pursuing a pure-play digital strategy. * RPC GROUP: RPC Group, Europe’s biggest plastics packaging maker, said on Friday the deadline for its private equity suitor Apollo Global Management to make a firm offer for the company has been extended to Jan. 23. * BHP Group: The state of Western Australia said on Monday an audit had found global miner BHP Group underpaid royalties on iron ore shipments sold via its Singapore marketing hub stretching back over more than a decade. * SPORTS DIRECT: Sports Direct boss Mike Ashley is in talks to rescue music retailer HMV from administration, Sky News reported on Sunday, saying he had held talks with music and industry suppliers to the business. * GOLD: Gold prices held steady on Monday as expectations that the U.S. Federal Reserve will pause its multi-year interest rate hike cycle, were offset by a recovery in investor appetite for risk.
* OIL: Oil prices rose to their highest for 2019 on Monday after data showed refinery processing in China, the world’s second-largest oil consumer, climbed to a record in 2018, despite a slowing economy last year.
* The UK blue chip index closed 1.95 percent up at 6968.33 on Friday, as signs of a detente in the trade war between the United States and China lifted markets from Wall Street to Beijing. * For more on the factors affecting European stocks, please click on: LIVE (Reporting by Adil Bhat)