UK Stocks-Factors to watch on Dec 18
Dec 18 (Reuters) - Britain's FTSE 100 index is seen opening down 17-22 points, or 0.3-0.4 percent, on Friday, according to financial bookmakers. For more on the factors affecting European stocks, please click on * The UK blue chip index closed 1.2 percent higher on Thursday at 6,102.54 points, tracking gains on other equity markets after investors took the first U.S. interest rate rise in nearly a decade as a sign of policymakers' confidence in the world's biggest economy. * BARCLAYS: Singapore's DBS Group Holdings and Julius Baer are seen as potential bidders for Barclays Asian private wealth business, valued at about $600 million, sources familiar with the matter told Reuters. * SHELL: Royal Dutch Shell PLC called for tougher regulation of the Dubai crude benchmark, the Middle East's most important oil-pricing mechanism, after record trade volumes skewed prices. * AB INBEV/SABMILLER: Anheuser-Busch InBev, which has agreed to buy rival brewer SABMiller, plans to contact potential bidders for SABMiller's Grolsch and Peroni beers on Friday and wrap up deals in less than three months, sources close to the process said. * STANDARD CHARTERED: Shares of Standard Chartered (StanChart) were upgraded by broker CLSA on expectations the UK bank's "challenging" recovery could lead to a takeover by a white knight. * SABMILLER/COCA-COLA: SABMiller and Coca-Cola's proposed deal to combine their operations that mix, bottle and distribute soft drinks in Africa, cleared a major hurdle on Thursday after South Africa's competition watchdog gave its preliminary approval. * JOHN LEWIS: John Lewis , Britain's biggest department store chain, said on Friday its sales rose 3.0 percent year-on-year in the week to Dec. 12, driven by strong demand for technology items. * UK STEEL: Britain received European Union approval on Thursday to compensate firms in some energy-intensive industries for the cost of "green taxes", offering help to its ailing steel sector. * EU REFERENDUM: Prime Minister David Cameron said on Thursday he could see a pathway to a deal to keep Britain in the European Union after EU leaders told him at a summit in Brussels they would not accept discrimination against EU migrant workers in the UK. * UK CORPORATE DIARY: Carnival PLC Q4 2015 Carnival PLC Earnings Release 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 * BridgeStation: view story .134 For more information on Top News visit topnews.reuters.com (Reporting by Noor Zainab Hussain and Esha Vaish in Bengaluru)
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