March 29, 2018 / 5:29 AM / a year ago

UK Stocks-Factors to watch on March 29

    March 29 (Reuters) - Britain's FTSE 100 index is seen opening 20
points lower at 7,025 on Thursday, according to financial bookmakers.
    * CME/NEX: U.S. exchange operator CME Group is in advanced talks to
buy Britain's NEX Group for about 3.8 billion pounds ($5.4 billion) to
create a cross-border trading powerhouse.
    * SHIRE: Japan's largest drugmaker Takeda Pharmaceutical is
considering a bid for London-listed rare disease specialist Shire that
could top $40 billion and spark another takeover battle in the deal-hungry
pharma industry.
    * RECKITT BENCKISER: Reckitt Benckiser's chief executive Rakesh
Kapoor got an 18 percent pay cut in 2017, his second in two years, due to a
halving of his long-term incentive benefits, after a year of underperformance at
the British consumer goods company.
    * GKN/MELROSE: The three-month battle for GKN will be decided on
Thursday when the deadline for shareholders to accept Melrose Industries's
 8 billion pound ($11 billion) hostile bid expires, ending one of the
most closely-contested takeover fights in Britain for years.
    * GSK/TEVA: A federal judge on Wednesday overturned a U.S. jury's verdict
that required Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd to pay
GlaxoSmithKline Plc more than $235 million for infringing a patent
covering its blood pressure drug Coreg.
    * UK CAR OUTPUT: British car production fell 4.4 percent in February,
dragged down by the seventh consecutive monthly decline in domestic demand as
sales in Europe's second biggest car market continue to slump, an industry body
said on Thursday.
    * EX-DIVS: British Land, Intercontinental Hotel Group and
Prudential  will trade without entitlement to their latest dividend
pay-out on Thursday, trimming 3.88 points off the FTSE 100 according to Reuters
    * The UK blue chip index closed up 0.6 percent at 7,044.74 points on
Wednesday, shaking off broader concerns over the U.S. tech sector that rattled
global equity markets. Shares in pharma firm Shire surged.
    * For more on the factors affecting European stocks, please click on: cpurl://apps.cp./cms/?pageId=livemarkets
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 (Reporting by Rahul B in Bengaluru)
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