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Funds News

UPDATE 1-UK Stocks-Factors to watch on Oct. 29

(Adds company news items, futures)

Oct 29 - Britain’s FTSE 100 index is seen opening 8 points lower at 5,575 on Thursday, according to financial bookmakers, with futures up 0.06% ahead of cash market open.

* ROYAL DUTCH SHELL: Royal Dutch Shell announced it will increase its third-quarter dividend by 4% after reporting strong-than-expected profits in the quarter.

*SMITH+NEPHEW: Smith+Nephew said revenue recovered strongly in the third quarter from the second, as hospitals managed to carry out more elective surgeries after the initial wave of coronavirus infections.

* WPP: The world’s biggest advertising company WPP said client wins from Uber, Alibaba and HSBC had helped it to report an improvement in third-quarter underlying trading.

* LLOYDS: Lloyds Banking Group posted forecast-beating third-quarter profit, lowering its provisions for expected bad loans due to the pandemic and cashing in on a boom in demand for mortgages.

* BT: BT, Britain’s biggest fixed-line and mobile operator, said it had delivered a strong operational performance in the first half given the challenges of COVID-19 as it raised the lower limit of its earnings guidance for the year.

* GOLD: Gold edged up after a plunge in the previous session as surging global coronavirus cases and fears of a contested U.S. presidential election spurred demand, although a strong dollar capped gains.

* OIL: Oil prices rose in early trading, regaining some of the ground lost in a 5% slump overnight, amid the prospect of tighter short-term supply with two-thirds of U.S. output shut in the Gulf of Mexico as Hurricane Zeta slammed Louisiana.

* The UK blue-chip index closed 2.6% lower on Wednesday as investors dumped riskier assets on fears of more lockdowns and uncertainty over a British trade deal with the EU.

* For more on the factors affecting European stocks, please click on:

TODAY’S UK PAPERS

> Financial Times

> Other business headlines (Reporting by Priyanshi Mandhan)

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