(Adds company news item and futures)
Oct 5 (Reuters) - Britain’s FTSE 100 index is seen opening 2 points higher on Thursday, according to financial bookmakers, with futures flat ahead of the cash market open.
* BARCLAYS-PWC: The Financial Reporting Council has closed its investigation into audit firm PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) LLP over its audits of Barclays in the years during and after the global financial crisis, the accounting watchdog said on Thursday.
* UK CAR SALES: New car registrations in Britain fell by 9.2 percent in September, making it highly likely that sales this year will be down for the first time since 2011, according to preliminary numbers from an industry body.
* BANK OF ENGLAND: Britain’s banks need a watertight Brexit transition deal by Christmas to avoid a potentially disorderly shift of people and operations to the European Union, a top Bank of England official said on Wednesday.
* MERLIN ENTERTAINMENTS: UK-based theme park operator Merlin Entertainments Plc has approached marine park operator SeaWorld Entertainment Inc about a potential deal, according to a person familiar with the matter.
* BP: BP Plc said on Wednesday it began evacuating non-essential workers from the Thunder Horse and Na Kika platforms in the Gulf of Mexico due to the strengthening of Tropical Depression 16.
* SHELL: Royal Dutch Shell Plc said on Wednesday it was minimizing staff working offshore at its eastern Gulf of Mexico assets due to forecasts that Tropical Depression 16 will move close to the region over the weekend.
* FACEBOOK: Facebook reported profits in Britain in 2016 of 58.4 million pounds ($77 million) after the introduction of anti-profit shifting measures but a modest rise in its tax bill shows the challenge Europe faces in working out how to tax technology giants.
* APPLE: The European Commission said on Wednesday it was taking Ireland to the European Court of Justice for its failure to recover up to 13 billion euros ($15.3 billion) of tax due from Apple Inc, a move labelled as “regrettable” by Dublin.
* METALS: Profit-taking drove base metals lower on Thursday after supply concerns in China lifted recent sessions, traders said, with zinc retreating from 10-year highs.
* OIL: Oil prices stabilised on Thursday on expectations that Saudi Arabia and Russia would extend production cuts, although record U.S. exports dragged on the market.
* EX-DIVS: Aviva, British Land Company, Kingfisher, Next, Smith & Nephew and WPP will trade without entitlement to their latest dividend payout on Thursday, trimming 3.5 points off the FTSE 100 according to Reuters calculations
* The UK blue chip index closed flat at 7,467.58 on Wednesday as Energy providers Centrica and SSE dragged on the index after Prime Minister Theresa May announced plans to cap energy prices.
* For more on the factors affecting European stocks, please click on: cpurl://apps.cp./cms/?pageId=livemarkets
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