(Adds company news items and futures)
Jan 9 - Britain’s FTSE 100 index is seen opening 75 points higher at 6,936 on Wednesday, according to financial bookmakers, with futures up 0.67 percent ahead of the cash market open.
* SAINSBURY: Sainsbury’s, Britain’s No. 2 supermarket group that is battling to take over No. 3 Asda, reported a worse-than-expected fall in underlying sales in the key Christmas quarter, hurt by poor demand for general merchandise.
* TAYLOR WIMPEY: Britain’s third-largest builder Taylor Wimpey Plc said the indicators for 2019 sales were solid after guiding it would report 2018 results in line with expectations following a 3 percent increase in the number of homes it built.
* TED BAKER: British fashion retailer Ted Baker Plc reported higher retail sales in the holiday period, helped by a surge in online demand and said an investigation into reports related to the conduct of its founder were progressing.
* MOTHERCARE: Mothercare Plc’s third-quarter group sales slipped 18 percent on lower online sales of baby products and fewer discounts, which led to a double digit dip in UK like-for-like revenue.
* GREGGS: British baker Greggs Plc nudged up its 2018 profit forecast to at least 88 million pounds ($112 million) after a “very strong” finish to the year driven by demand for its festive bakes, mince pies, hot drinks and breakfast items.
* INTERNATIONAL CONSOLIDATED AIRLINES: Brussels has warned British Airways owner IAG that its favoured strategy to allow it to continue flying freely in and around Europe in the event of a no-deal Brexit will not work, the Financial Times reported on Tuesday.
* FAROE PETROLEUM: Norwegian oil company DNO ASA said on Tuesday it raised its cash offer for Faroe Petroleum Plc to 641.7 million pounds ($816.1 million), after the British firm rebuffed its acquisition offer earlier.
* BP PLC: BP said it has discovered two new oilfields in the Gulf of Mexico and has identified an additional billion barrels of oil at an existing field thanks to new seismic technology.
* SERCO/ MEARS: Serco and Mears have won contracts totalling 2.9 billion pounds from the British government to provide accommodation and support for asylum seekers, lifting shares in both outsourcing firms.
* GOLD: Gold prices held steady on Wednesday as a potential close to a months-long Sino-U.S. trade war lifted risk sentiment, countering expectations that the Fed would pause interest rate increases for this year.
* OIL: Oil prices rose on Wednesday, extending gains from the previous session, on hopes that Washington and Beijing can resolve a trade dispute that has triggered a global economic slowdown.
* The UK blue chip index closed 0.7 percent higher at 6861.60 on Tuesday, amid hopes of a U.S.-China trade deal and as supermarket chain Tesco led a revival in retailers after upbeat sales data that helped offset Morrisons’ disappointing holiday update.
* For more on the factors affecting European stocks, please click on: cpurl://apps.cp./cms/?pageId=livemarkets
> Financial Times
> Other business headlines Multimedia versions of Reuters Top News are now available for: * For Top News : http://topnews.reuters.com (Reporting by Karina Dsouza in Bengaluru)