March 23, 2018 / 5:12 AM / 6 months ago

UK Stocks-Factors to watch on March 23

    March 23 (Reuters) - Britain's FTSE 100 index is seen opening down
72 points on Friday, according to financial bookmakers.
    
    * BANK OF ENGLAND: The Bank of England kept interest rates steady on
Thursday but two policymakers unexpectedly voted for a hike, reinforcing the
view among economists that borrowing costs will rise in May for only the second
time since the 2008 financial crisis.
    * DANA CONTRACT: Auto components maker Dana Inc said on Thursday it
would supply front and rear axles for the next generation of Jaguar and Land
Rover luxury vehicles in a contract worth 300 million pounds ($423.42
million).
    The contract wins come as Dana has been in the midst of a bidding war with
Melrose to merge with British engineering company GKN's
automotive business.
    * BRITAIN FINTECH: Britain announced a task force on Thursday to exploit the
technology underpinning cryptoassets, such as bitcoin and other
cryptocurrencies, as part of new plans to help fintech companies find more
customers.
    * OIL: Oil prices jumped more than 1 percent on Friday, pushed up by Saudi
plans for OPEC and Russian led production curbs introduced in 2017 to be
extended into 2019 in order to tighten the market.
    * GOLD: Gold prices rose to a two-week high early Friday on a softer dollar
as investors scurried to safety after U.S. President Donald Trump took a step
towards long-promised anti-China tariffs, stoking fears of a global trade war.

    * The UK blue chip index closed 1.2 percent lower at 6,952.59 on Thursday,
hit by concerns over potential trade wars and following a hawkish surprise from
the Bank of England's policy meeting.
    * For more on the factors affecting European stocks, please click on: cpurl://apps.cp./cms/?pageId=livemarkets
    
    * UK CORPORATE DIARY:
    
 Smiths Group Plc                 Half Year 2018 Earnings Release
 Next Plc                         Full Year 2017 Earnings Release
 
    TODAY'S UK PAPERS
    > Financial Times                     
    > Other business headlines            
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 (Reporting by Radhika Rukmangadhan in Bengaluru)
  
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