* Britain’s FTSE 100 index is seen opening 17 to 29 points, or as much as 0.3 percent, higher on Friday, according to financial bookmakers. For more on the factors affecting European stocks, please click on
* The UK blue chip index closed flat at 5,827.78 points on Thursday, shrugging off an expected decision by the Bank of England to leave monetary policy unchanged, but failing to hold on to a one-week intra-day high of 5,854.16 points.
* Focus will be on monthly U.S. payrolls data, due at 1230 GMT, after recent indicators suggested the economy was picking up traction again, although it appears still stuck in a slow recovery. Jobs likely increased by 113,000 last month but the jobless rate likely ticked up to 8.2 percent from 8.1 percent in August.
* RENTOKIL - The British cleaning-to-pest control firm rose on Thursday on various rumours ranging from a 2.63 billion pounds, or 145 pence-per-share, private equity bid and that the company might sell Citilink, its private postal business, according to various newspaper market reports.
* BAE SYSTEMS - EADS and BAE Systems have edged closer towards winning political backing for a $45 billion merger amid positive signals from Britain and France, but German misgivings over control remain a major hurdle, sources close to the talks said.
* BWIN.PARTY DIGITAL - Shares in the online betting firm rose on Thursday as investors continued to bet on Far East suitors making a bid for the group, The Daily Express said.
* Copper edged up in line with a firmer euro, although volumes were low with top consumer China on a week-long holiday.
* Brent futures slipped below $112 per barrel, but were on course to end a choppy week nearly flat as rising tensions in the Middle East battle with perennial worries about the global economy and oil demand.
* JOHN WOOD GROUP - The company said it was confident of achieving full year performance in line with expectations, adding that its engineering division was performing well and its order book and future prospects remained strong.
* Greek leader Antonis Samaras told a German paper in an interview published on Friday his country could not manage beyond November without the next tranche of international aid and suggested the ECB could help by easing the terms of its Greek debt holdings.
TODAY‘S UK PAPERS
> Financial Times
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