May 24, 2018 / 5:26 AM / in a year

UK Stocks-Factors to watch on May 24

    May 24 (Reuters) - Britain's FTSE 100 index is seen opening 5 points
lower at 7,784 on Thursday, according to financial bookmakers.
    * BRITISH INFLATION: British inflation fell unexpectedly in April, according
to data that prompted fresh questions about when the Bank of England would next
raise interest rates and pushed sterling to its lowest level against the dollar
this year.
    * BARCLAYS: Barclays Plc is not actively exploring a potential
merger with rivals, two sources close to the bank said, as speculation mounts
about how the British lender plans to defend itself against activist investor
Edward Bramson.
    * PADDY POWER BETFAIR:  Paddy Power Betfair, has agreed to
merge its U.S. business with fantasy sports company FanDuel to target the U.S.
sports betting market that is set to open up in the coming years, the Irish
bookmaker said on Wednesday.
    * MARKS & SPENCER:  Marks & Spencer is modernising rapidly to
survive and has finally found a strategy that will deliver the profitable,
growing business craved by investors, the British retailer said on Wednesday.

    * OIL: Oil prices fell on Thursday on expectations that OPEC members will
step up production in the face of worries over supply from both Venezuela and
    * EX-DIVS: Bunzl Plc, Carnival Plc, DCC Plc,
Imperial Brands Plc, WM Morrison Supermarkets Plc and Whitbread
Plc will trade without entitlement to their latest dividend pay-out on
Thursday, trimming 3.2 points off the FTSE 100 according to Reuters
    * The UK blue chip index closed 1.1 percent lower at 7,788.44 on Wednesday, 
as oil majors and commodity-related stocks fell but well-received results made
Marks & Spencer a bright spot.
    * For more on the factors affecting European stocks, please click on: cpurl://apps.cp./cms/?pageId=livemarkets
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 (Reporting by Radhika Rukmangadhan in Bengaluru)
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