March 17, 2017 / 6:28 AM / 8 months ago

UK STOCKS-Factors to watch on March 17

    March 17 (Reuters) - Britain's FTSE 100         index is seen opening up 1
point at 7,416 on Friday, according to financial bookmakers.
    *  BP: BP Plc        on Friday said it had sold around half its roughly
20-percent stake in New Zealand Refining Company Limited          for NZ$80.4
million ($56.2 million) as part of a global portfolio review.             
    * BHP BILLITON: The striking union at BHP Billiton's         Escondida mine
in Chile, the world's biggest copper mine, said on Thursday that it would return
to the negotiating table if the company gave a written guarantee that it would
only discuss the union's three key demands.             
    * BP: UK petrochemicals group, Ineos is in talks with BP        to buy the
Forties Pipeline System, located in the North Sea, the Financial Times reported
on Thursday.             
    * PANMURE GORDON: Former Barclays chief executive, Bob Diamond is launching
a joint takeover bid with Qatari investors for Panmure Gordon        , Sky News
reported on Thursday.             
    * ANGLO AMERICAN: Indian billionaire Anil Agarwal said he wants to buy a 2
billion pound ($2.45 billion) stake in Anglo American        , a major vote of
confidence in the global miner's recovery.             
    * BRITISH AMERICAN TOBACCO: British American Tobacco (BAT)          said
demand for its "glo" tobacco heating device overwhelmed supply in its Japan test
marketing, as global cigarette giants shift focus to the new product category
amid declining smoking population.                
    * BRITIAN BOND: British 10-year government bond yields hit a one-month high
on Thursday after a Bank of England policymaker unexpectedly voted to raise
interest rates, and there were signs that some other officials could be tempted
to follow suit soon.             
    * BREXIT-BOE: Recent weakness in British pay growth likely reflects
temporary caution about Brexit among employers, Bank of England rate-setter
Kristin Forbes said in a newspaper opinion piece published in the Daily
Telegraph on Thursday.             
    * OIL: Oil prices were little changed in early Asian trade on Friday as the
market looked for clues on how effectively OPEC production cuts are working to
absorb a global supply overhang.             
    * The UK blue chip FTSE 100         index closed 0.6 percent higher at
7,415.95 points on Thursday, helped by a surge in commodities-related stocks,
but pared some gains after a Bank of England (BoE) policymaker voted for a rate
    * For more on the factors affecting European stocks, please click on: cpurl://apps.cp./cms/?pageId=livemarkets
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 (Reporting by Siju Varghese)

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