LONDON Feb 14 Britain's FTSE 100 index is seen opening up between 3 to 4 points, or as much as 0.1 percent higher on Thursday, according to financial bookmakers. For more on the factors affecting European stocks, please click on
* Britain's top share index .FTSE closed up 20.73 points, or 0.3 percent, at 6,359.11 on Wednesday, and touched an intraday high of 6,384.70 - its highest in five-years - buoyed by a squeeze on short-sellers.
* Economists expect the EU statistics office Eurostat to show that the bloc's output shrank 0.4 percent in the fourth quarter, after contracting 0.1 percent in the third quarter and 0.2 percent in the second.
* BANKS - Regulation of the banking sector will be in focus, with the European Commission set to present proposals for a tax on financial transactions in 11 EU member states and the U.S. Senate set to hold a hearing about the oversight of financial stability.
* RIO TINTO - World no.3 miner Rio Tinto reported a 47 percent plunge in half-year underlying profit on Thursday, its worst since 2009 due to sharp falls in commodity prices, but raised its dividend by more than expected.
* ROLLS ROYCE - Engine maker Rolls-Royce is set to announce on Thursday the departure of chairman Sir Simon Robertson and the appointment of his successor, Ian Davis, Sky News reported on Wednesday citing sources familiar with the move.
* UK CORPORATE DIARY:
AMEC PLC - The miner reports preliminary results.
ELECTRIC WORD PLC - Electric Wood announces preliminary results.
HELICAL BAR PLC - The property firm gives a trading update.
HALMA PLC - Halma provides a trading update.
MANCHESTER UNITED PLC - The football club report Q2 results.
MORGAN CRUCIBLE - Morgan Crucible announces preliminary results.
NORCROS - The consumer products firm gives a trading update.
ROLLS-ROYCE - The engine manufacturer reports preliminary results.
SHIRE PLC - The blue-chip pharmaceutical reports final results.
SVG CAPITAL - The fund manager announces preliminary 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(Reporting by Alistair Smout)