(Adds company news items and futures)
Oct 6 (Reuters) - Britain’s FTSE 100 index is seen opening 9 points higher on Friday, according to financial bookmakers with futures up 0.2 percent ahead of the cash market open.
* EasyJet: A record number of summer passengers has put easyJet on course to reach the upper end of its profit forecast this year, the British budget airline said on Friday.
* Lonmin: Platinum miner Lonmin Plc said on Friday it expects full-year sales to be slightly above its prior forecast.
* UNILEVER: Anglo-Dutch consumer group Unilever has invited private equity bidders to submit tentative offers for its $8 billion margarine and spreads business by a deadline of Oct. 19, two sources close to the matter told Reuters.
* ROYAL MAIL: Britain’s Royal Mail will use all legal options at its disposal to halt a strike by postal workers this month, it said on Thursday after the industry union announced the action over a pensions dispute.
* BANK OF ENGLAND: Financial markets are less at risk of “an unpleasant surprise” from the Bank of England, now that they expect an interest rate rise later this year, rather than in mid-2019, BoE policymaker Ian McCafferty said on Thursday.
* RYANAIR: Ryanair on Thursday promised its pilots significant improvements in pay and conditions, saying it would exceed rates paid by rivals and improve job security, according to a letter to pilots seen by Reuters.
* BP: BP Plc said on Thursday it was shutting-in all oil and natural gas production from its U.S. Gulf of Mexico platforms ahead of Tropical Storm Nate.
* SHELL: Royal Dutch Shell is shutting in production from some of its subsea fields and suspending some drilling activity at its assets in eastern Gulf of Mexico ahead of Tropical Storm Nate, it said on Thursday.
* UK RETAIL: British shops enjoyed their biggest jump in sales in more than three years in September, a survey of the retail sector showed, suggesting consumers are finding ways to cope with the squeeze on their incomes.
* UK JOBS: Growth in the number of workers hired in Britain via recruitment agencies slowed last month and fell in London for the first time in nearly a year as Brexit makes it harder for companies to find staff, a survey showed on Friday.
* IRISH CONSUMER SENTIMENT: A modest improvement in Irish consumer sentiment last month thanks to a brighter outlook for household finances was enough to return the index to its highest level since early last year, a survey showed on Friday.
* GOLD: Gold was steady on Friday ahead of key U.S. jobs data later in the day, with prices curbed as the dollar stood firm near a seven-week high.
* OIL: Oil markets were cautious on Friday as traders monitored a tropical storm heading for the Gulf of Mexico and as China remained closed for a week-long public holiday.
* The UK blue chip index closed 0.5 percent higher at 7,502.79 points on Thursday as a sharp fall in sterling boosted the index, with basic resources and oil and gas stocks contributing most to the upswing.
* For more on the factors affecting European stocks, please click on: cpurl://apps.cp./cms/?pageId=livemarkets
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> Other business headlines Multimedia versions of Reuters Top News are now available for: * 3000 Xtra : visit topnews.session.rservices.com * For Top News : topnews.reuters.com (Reporting by Radhika Rukmangadhan in Bengaluru)