February 1, 2018 / 5:25 AM / a year ago

UK Stocks-Factors to watch on Feb 1

    Feb 1 (Reuters) - Britain's FTSE 100 index is seen opening 23 points
higher at 7,556.3 on Thursday, according to financial bookmakers. 
    * GKN/MELROSE: Melrose Industries is preparing to publish the
formal offer document detailing its 7.4 billion-pound hostile bid for British
engineer GKN on Thursday, according to a source close to the situation.

    * BHP: Global miner BHP, trying to speeden the sale of its
U.S. shale unit, is open to offering the assets in as many as seven packages,
including three in the Permian Basin, Bloomberg reported, citing people with
knowledge of the producer's plans. bloom.bg/2E6JlXy
    * SHELL: Oil major Royal Dutch Shell said its U.S. unit had made
one of its biggest oil discoveries in the past decade in the Whale deepwater
well in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico.
    * SHELL: Royal Dutch Shell snapped up nine of 19 Gulf of Mexico oil and gas
blocks awarded in a Mexican auction on Wednesday, as the global oil major raised
its big bet on Latin America's deep waters.
    * BARCLAYS: Ground services and cargo handling group Swissport, a unit of
cash-strapped Chinese conglomerate HNA Group            , said it has secured a
325 million euro ($403.68 million) financing commitment from Barclays
to support its acquisition of Australian ground handler Aerocare.
    * BREXIT: Prime Minister Theresa May has warned that European citizens
arriving in Britain after Brexit next year may lose some rights, setting up a
clash with the European Union over their treatment during any transition period.
    * UK SMALL MANUFACTURERS: British small manufacturers reported the fastest
rise in new orders since 1995 last month and are more optimistic about the year
to come, a survey by the Confederation of British Industry showed on Thursday.
    * COPPER: London copper traded flat on Thursday, supported by optimism over
the outlook for global manufacturing but pressured by expectations that demand
could tail off ahead of the Lunar New Year in mid-February.
    * GOLD: Gold prices inched down early on Thursday after the U.S. Federal
Reserve left interest rates unchanged but hinted at hikes later this year.

    * OIL: U.S. oil prices extended modest gains on Thursday as OPEC's strong
compliance with a supply reduction pact offset news that U.S. production topped
10 million barrels per day for the first time in nearly half a century.

    * EX-DIVS: No FTSE 100 .FTSE companies will go ex-dividend on Thursday,
although several mid-caps will go ex-div, after which investors will no longer
qualify for the latest dividend payout.  
    * The UK blue chip index closed down 0.7 percent on Wedneday to 7,533.55
points, as shares in outsourcer Capita <CPI.L > tanked after a profit warning,
further weighing on the monthly performance of the index. 
    * For more on the factors affecting European stocks, please click on: cpurl://apps.cp./cms/?pageId=livemarkets
 Vodafone Group PLC                                  Q3
 Cranswick PLC                                       Q3
 Unilever PLC                                        Q4 
 Rank Group PLC                                      Half Year
 3i Group PLC                                        Q3
 Intermediate Capital Group PLC                      Trading Statement
 RPC Group PLC                                       Q3
 Euromoney Institutional Investor PLC                Trading Statement 
 Rank Group PLC                                      Half Year
 NEX Group Plc                                       Q3
 Royal Dutch Shell                                   Q4
 Glencore Plc                                        FY Production
    > Financial Times                     
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 ($1 = 0.8051 euros)

 (Reporting by Noor Zainab Hussain in Bengaluru)
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