Dec 7 (Reuters) - Britain's FTSE 100 index is seen to open 11 points higher at 7,358.6 on Thursday, according to financial bookmakers. * ROLLS-ROYCE: Air New Zealand Ltd on Thursday said it would cancel and delay some international flights over the coming weeks because engines on its Boeing Co BA.N 787-9 jets manufactured by Rolls-Royce Holdings PLC required early maintenance. * ROYAL MAIL: Britain's Royal Mail said on Wednesday its mediated talks with the Communications Workers Union (CWU) to end a row over plans to replace the firm's defined benefit pension scheme were advancing. * UNILEVER: Italy's antitrust agency said on Wednesday it had fined Unilever's, Italian unit more than 60 million euros ($70.7 million) for abuse of its dominant position in the country's ice cream market. * OIL: Oil prices inched higher on Thursday after a data report showed a decrease in U.S. crude inventories, but rising gasoline stocks and crude production weighed on the market. * GOLD: Gold prices edged lower early on Thursday, hovering close to a two-month low hit earlier this week, amid a steady dollar. * COPPER: London copper edged up on Thursday but was still not far two-month lows amid signs that growth in China's property and power sectors, both major copper consumers, is tapering into the year end. * BRITAIN-EU: The Irish and British Prime Minister agreed to speak again over the coming days after Irish premier Leo Varadkar reiterated his firm position on the Irish border in a call with Theresa May on Wednesday, his spokesman said. * EX-DIVS: Babcock, Mediclinic, Next will trade without entitlement to their latest dividend pay-out on Thursday, trimming 0.46 points off the FTSE 100 according to Reuters calculations * The UK blue chip index rose 0.5 percent to 7,364.05 points on Wednesday, as Brexit negotiations dented the pound, while Costa owner Whitbread got a late boost when activist investor Sachem Head declared a stake in the company. * For more on the factors affecting European stocks, please click on: cpurl://apps.cp./cms/?pageId=livemarkets * UK CORPORATE DIARY: DS Smith PLC Half Year 2018 Earnings Release TODAY'S UK PAPERS > Financial Times > 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 Harish Bhaskar)
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