Nov 23 (Reuters) - Britain's FTSE 100 .FTSE index is seen opening 20 points higher at 6,981 on Friday, according to financial bookmakers.
* BP (LON: BP ): BP has started production at the Clair Ridge oil field in the West of Shetlands region of the North Sea, targeting a peak output of 120,000 barrels per day, it said on Friday. FLYBE: Britain's Virgin Atlantic Airways is in talks to acquire regional airline Flybe Group Plc FLYB.L , Sky News reported on Thursday, a week after Flybe said it was in talks to sell itself. SOLGOLD: SolGold's SOLG.L coveted Ecuadorian copper-gold prospect may be 20 percent bigger than the mining group said earlier this week, its chief executive Nick Mather said on Thursday. BHP: Mining giant BHP BLT.L , BHP.AX says it will fight an unprecedented English lawsuit filed by hundreds of thousands of Brazilians for multi-billion pound damages over Brazil's worst environmental disaster. GOLD: Gold prices held recent gains in early Asian trade on Friday on lingering doubts over the pace of rate hikes by the U.S. Federal Reserve, putting the metal on track for a second straight weekly gain. OIL: Oil prices slumped to 2018 lows on Friday in thin but volatile trading, pulled down by concerns of an emerging global supply overhang amid a bleak economic outlook. The UK blue chip index closed down 1.3 percent on Thursday as sterling rallied after the European Commision and Britain agreed on a draft text for future EU-UK ties after Brexit, with Centrica (LON: CNA ), Fresnillo (LON: FRES ) and other mining stocks leading the decline. For more on the factors affecting European stocks, please click on: cpurl://apps.cp./cms/?pageId=livemarkets
* UK CORPORATE DIARY:
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