(Adds company news items and futures)
Nov 12 (Reuters) - Britain’s FTSE 100 index is seen opening 56 points higher at 7,161 on Monday, according to financial bookmakers, with futures up nearly 0.71 percent ahead of the cash market open.
* DIAGEO: Diageo Plc agreed to sell 19 brands to U.S.-based company Sazerac for $550 million, the world’s largest spirits company said on Monday.
* BABCOCK: British engineer Babcock refuted damaging speculation about it which arose from an anonymous report, issuing a statement on Monday to reassure investors that the company is in a healthy financial position.
* JOHNSTON PRESS: The owner of the Daily Mail newspaper has drawn up a plan to make an offer for the “i” title from Johnston Press after the struggling regional publisher put itself up for sale, Sky News reported on Saturday.
* ASTRAZENECA: The biggest clinical trial so far to assess a new class of diabetes pills shows that AstraZeneca’s Farxiga can prevent heart failure and cut the risk of kidney problems in a broad range of patients.
* SHIRE, TAKEDA: Japanese drugmaker Takeda Pharmaceutical is set to win conditional EU antitrust approval for its $62-billion bid for London’s Shire, the biggest ever overseas acquisition by a Japanese company, two people familiar with the matter said on Friday.
* ICAG: Anglo-Spanish airline group IAG, the owner of British Airways, is taking steps to avoid falling foul of European Union ownership rules in the event of a no-deal Brexit, Spanish newspaper El Pais reported on Saturday.
* GOLD: Gold prices were steady on Monday, having dipped to a one-month low in the previous session after the U.S. dollar firmed on the Federal Reserve’s plans to gradually keep tightening borrowing costs.
* OIL: Oil prices rose by about one percent on Monday after top exporter Saudi Arabia announced a cut in supply for December, seen as a measure to halt a market slump that had seen crude decline by 20 percent since early October.
* The UK blue chip index closed down 0.5 percent on Friday, ending two days of gains as weak metals prices weighed, Burberry sank 5 percent and Wall Street opened lower after a hawkish Federal Reserve statement renewed worries about an imminent interest rate hike.
* For more on the factors affecting European stocks, please click on: cpurl://apps.cp./cms/?pageId=livemarkets
> Financial Times
> Other business headlines (Reporting by Tanishaa Nadkar in Bengaluru)