July 3, 2017 / 6:36 AM / 2 months ago

UPDATE 3-UK Stocks-Factors to watch on July 3

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July 3 (Reuters) - Britain's FTSE 100 index is seen opening up 16 points at 7,328 on Monday, according to financial bookmakers, with futures up 0.3 percent ahead of the cash market open.

* BGEO: BGEO Group Plc, the holding company of JSC Bank of Georgia, said it intended to demerge into two London-listed firms - a banking business and an investment business.

* SEVERN TRENT: British water utility Severn Trent Plc on Monday said it would sell its North American unit for $62 million to focus on its core UK business.

* UK ENERGY REGULATOR: Britain's energy regulator Ofgem could cap bills for some of the most vulnerable customers and make switching supplier easier, it said on Monday in response to a government request for it to set out plans to help customers on the poorest-value tariffs.

* IAG: Some British Airways cabin crew began a two-week strike on Saturday in a prolonged pay dispute, risking further brand damage and travel disruption, although the airline said most passengers would be able to fly.

* IAG: British authorities have given British Airways the go ahead to use Qatar Airways planes and staff during a planned two-week strike by members of its cabin crew, a spokesman for the Department for Transport said on Friday. BA, owned by IAG has committed to fly all its customers to their destinations during the strike.

* GSK: The world's leading drug companies are turning to artificial intelligence to improve the hit-and-miss business of finding new medicines, with GlaxoSmithKline unveiling a new $43 million deal in the field on Sunday.

* BAE SYSTEMS: BAE Systems, the world's third-largest defence contractor and the Ministry of Defence have signed a multi-billion pound deal to build the first three of eight new frigates for the Royal Navy, the Telegraph reported. bit.ly/2tAG11Q

* TATA STEEL: The British government is said to be considering changes to its pension law law to help Tata Steel Ltd save jobs at its Port Talbot plant in south Wales, a media report claims, Mint reported citing PTI. bit.ly/2ufDlUC

* UK TOBACCO: Cigarette maker Philip Morris International thinks its iQOS heated tobacco product can make Britain smoke-free in the coming years, an executive said on Friday. British American Tobacco and Japan Tobacco are also selling tobacco-based "vaping" devices.

* BREXIT: Britain's minister-in-charge of exiting the European Union will host a conference for business leaders on Friday as part of a government drive to give them a bigger say in the process.

* BREXIT: British business leaders have been told to brace for the possibility that Prime Minister Theresa May's government may walk out of Brexit talks this year, according to the Sunday Telegraph.

* UK ECONOMY: Prime Minister Theresa May is under pressure from her ministers to end the government's policy of economic austerity as a new poll shows her popularity has slumped, according to the Observer.

* LONDON FIRE: The head of the local council in the London borough where at least 80 people died in a fire in a social housing tower block resigned on Friday after he was criticised for the organisation's handling of the disaster.

* UK HIGH-RISE BUILDINGS: Some 181 high-rise buildings have failed safety tests carried out after a fire that killed at least 80 people in London last month, the British government said on Sunday.

* UK PUBLIC-SECTOR PAY: Britain could abandon an across-the-board cap on pay for public-sector workers such as teachers and nurses if review bodies said higher rises were needed to recruit and retain workers, Environment Secretary Michael Gove said on Sunday.

* BOND SCHEME: China and Hong Kong launched a long-awaited "Bond Connect" programme on Monday that links China's $9 trillion bond market with overseas investors, the latest step in Beijing's efforts to liberalise and strengthen the country's capital markets.

* OIL: Oil prices rose on Monday, lifted by the first fall in U.S. drilling activity in months, although gains were capped by reports of rising OPEC output last month even as the group has pledged to cut supply.

* COPPER: London copper was supported just below the $6,000 level on Monday, the first trading day of the second half, as brighter factory demand from China underpinned prices.

* GOLD: Gold edged lower on Monday as investors shunned safe-haven assets for equities, with Asian stocks remaining near two-year highs, and as the dollar rose from a nine-month low, reducing the demand for bullion.

* The UK blue chip index closed down 0.5 percent at 7,312.72 points on Friday, as a drop among oil stocks, miners and by United Utilities kept the UK's top share index in negative territory after a choppy day. The heavy losses sent the index to its widest monthly loss since September 2015, sealing its first negative quarter in more than a year as a tumultuous first half drew to a close.

* For more on the factors affecting European stocks, please click on: cpurl://apps.cp./cms/?pageId=livemarkets

TODAY'S UK PAPERS

> Financial Times

> Other business headlines Multimedia versions of Reuters Top News are now available for: * 3000 Xtra : visit topnews.session.rservices.com * For Top News : topnews.reuters.com (Reporting by Noor Zainab Hussain in Bengaluru)

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