August 30, 2018 / 6:55 AM / 3 months ago

UPDATE 1-UK Stocks-Factors to watch on Aug 30

(Adds news items, futures)

Aug 30 (Reuters) - Britain’s FTSE 100 index is seen opening 11 points lower at 7,553 on Thursday, according to financial bookmakers, with futures down 0.15 percent ahead of the cash market open.

* SSE/NPOWER: Britain’s competition regulator on Thursday approved the merger between the retail power units of energy companies SSE and Innogy’s Npower.

* HAYS: British recruitment company Hays Plc on Thursday declared a special dividend and boosted its full-year dividend by 18 percent, as it reported higher annual profit thanks to stronger growth in Germany, Australia and the United Kingdom.

* HUNTING: Oilfield services provider Hunting Plc on Thursday reinstated its dividend and reported a profit for the first half of 2018, as it saw stronger demand on the back of rising crude prices.

* CHESNARA: Pension and life insurance administrator Chesnara Plc’s profit before tax halved year-on-year in the six months to June, the company said on Thursday, saying its Scildon business had been hurt by losses on Italian bonds.

* SKY: Activist hedge fund Elliott believes Walt Disney’s deal to buy assets from Twenty-First Century Fox has valued Sky at more than $34 billion, higher than any of the current offers for the British broadcaster, Britain’s takeover regulator disclosed on Wednesday.

* ASTRAZENECA: The U.S. Food and Drug Administration said on Wednesday a serious genital infection has been reported in patients taking SGLT2 inhibitors, a certain class of diabetes drugs approved for AstraZeneca Plc and several other firms.

* GULF KEYSTONE PETROLEUM: Activist hedge fund Taconic Capital Advisors said on Wednesday that it would sell a 3.55 percent stake in Iraq-based oil producer Gulf Keystone Petroleum Ltd.

* EX-DIVS: Intercontinental Hotel Group, St James’s Place will trade without entitlement to their latest dividend pay-out on Thursday, trimming 0.58 points off the FTSE 100 according to Reuters calculations.

* The UK blue chip index closed down 0.7 percent at 7,563.21 points on Wednesday, under pressure from a bounce in the pound on the back of remarks from the European Union’s chief negotiator Michel Barnier, who offered Britain close ties after Brexit.

* For more on the factors affecting European stocks, please click on: cpurl://apps.cp./cms/?pageId=livemarkets Multimedia versions of Reuters Top News are now available for: * For Top News : topnews.reuters.com (Reporting by Justin George Varghese and Shashwat Awasthi)

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