(Updates opening levels, adds news items)

June 18 - Britain's FTSE 100 index opened up 0.52% on Tuesday.

* ASHTEAD GROUP: British equipment rental firm Ashtead Group forecast on Tuesday a slower growth in group rental revenue for fiscal 2025 after a 10% jump in 2024.

* ASTRAZENECA: AstraZeneca

said

on Tuesday its breast cancer drug, Truqap, in combination with chemotherapy agent, paclitaxel, did not meet its main goals in a late-stage trial to improve overall survival of patients with a type of breast cancer.

* SHELL: Shell has

agreed

to buy Singaporean liquefied natural gas company Pavilion Energy from global investment company Temasek in a move the oil major said will strengthen its leadership position in LNG, according to statements on Tuesday.

* EU: EU antitrust regulators are asking whether rivals proposed by British Airways owner IAG to take over some of Spanish airline Air Europa's routes are capable of operating them and competing with IAG, people familiar with the matter said on Monday.

* BANKS: Britain's Labour Party said on Monday it would give regulators new powers to significantly increase the number of 'banking hubs' on high streets if voted into government next month.

* COLONIAL PIPELINE: Some of Colonial Pipeline's owners are exploring divesting their stakes, hoping they can fetch prices that would value the largest U.S. fuel transportation system in excess of $10 billion, according to people familiar with the matter.

* OIL: Oil prices edged downin Asian trade on Tuesday, after posting gains in the previous session, as markets remained cautious about global demand growth prospects amid expectations of stronger supplies.

* GOLD: Gold prices inched up on Tuesday as the Treasury yields edged lower, while investors looked forward to economic data and comments from Federal Reserve officials throughout the week for clarity on the U.S. central bank's interest rate cut timeline.

* For more on the factors affecting European stocks, please click on:

TODAY'S UK PAPERS

> Financial Times

> Other business headlines (Reporting by Radhika Anilkumar in Bengaluru;)