(Adds company news items and futures)
Sept 24 (Reuters) - Britain's FTSE 100 .FTSE index is seen opening 27 points lower at 7,464 on Monday, according to financial bookmakers, with FTSE 100 futures .FFIc1 down 0.22 percent ahead of the cash market open.
* ASTRAZENECA: AstraZeneca AZN.L said on Monday its diabetes drug Farxiga met a key goal in a major clinical study designed to show the heart-protecting benefits of the medicine. THOMAS COOK: British travel company Thomas Cook (NS: THOM ) TCG.L cut its 2018 profit outlook by about 13 percent, blaming a heatwave in northern Europe for more discounting and tougher competition in the most profitable later part of the summer holiday season. RANDGOLD: Randgold Resources Ltd RRS.L said on Monday it agreed to the terms of a recommended share-for-share merger with Canada's Barrick Gold Corp ABX.TO in a deal worth $18.3 billion. BHP: BHP Billiton BHP.AX BLT.L said on Monday its Kalgoorlie nickel smelter has been closed after a fire that broke out over the weekend and the plant will remain shut while it assesses the damage. SKY: Comcast CMCSA.O beat Rupert Murdoch's Twenty-First Century Fox FOXA.O in the battle for Sky SKYB.L on Saturday after offering 30.6 billion pounds ($40 billion) in a dramatic auction to decide the fate of the pay-television group. BT GROUP: BT Group BT.L is in advanced talks to appoint payment technology provider Worldpay's WP.N outgoing co-chief executive Philip Jansen as its new chief executive, Sky News reported on Saturday. WPP: The world's largest advertising company WPP Plc WPP.L is preparing to consolidate some of its businesses in a bid to keep pace with the industry's digital shift, the Wall Street Journal reported on Sunday. OIL: Oil prices rose on Monday as U.S. markets tightened just weeks ahead of Washington's plan to impose new sanctions against Iran, with major traders and banks expecting prices to rise over $90 per barrel in coming months. GOLD: Gold edged lower on Monday as the dollar held firm on news that China has cancelled trade talks with the United States, with the market also eyeing this week's U.S. Federal Reserve meeting for guidance on future rate hikes. The UK blue chip index closed 1.7 percent higher at 7490.23 on Friday as speech by Prime Minister Theresa May helped boost Britain's exporter-heavy FTSE 100 to a 2 1/2 week high.
* For more on the factors affecting European stocks, please click on: cpurl://apps.cp./cms/?pageId=livemarkets
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