UK Stocks-Factors to watch on March 18
March 18 (Reuters) - Britain's FTSE 100 index is seen opening lower by one point, or 0.01 percent, on Friday, according to financial bookmakers. For more on the factors affecting European stocks, please click on * The UK blue chip index closed 25.63 points higher at 6,201.12 on Thursday as miners were boosted by a weaker dollar after the U.S. Federal Reserve's dovish decision to hold interest rates steady. * DEUTSCHE BOERSE/LSE DEAL: European stock exchange operator Euronext NV is considering acquisitions to help it stay competitive after Deutsche Boerse AG and London Stock Exchange Group Plc agreed to merge in a $30 billion deal, according to people familiar with the matter. * GLAXOSMITHKLINE: GSK said on Thursday Chief Executive Andrew Witty would retire in 12 months after leading the British drugmaker through a series of changes since 2008 that have failed to ignite the company's share price. * BT GROUP: BT Group is set to appoint Simon Lowth, former chief financial officer at gas producer BG Group, as its new finance chief, Sky News reported on Thursday. * PHOENIX GROUP: Britain's largest consolidator of closed life funds is preparing to bid for Deutsche Bank AG's British insurance unit, Sky News reported. * SAINSBURY: Investors expect Sainsbury's to offer as much as 1.5 billion pounds for Argos ahead of a Friday deadline, as the supermarket considers trumping a rival South African bid for the catalogue shop, the Guardian reported. (bit.ly/1Z6sfKy) * BANK OF ENGLAND: Bank of England policymakers said the sterling had been dealt a big hit by uncertainty in the run-up to the referendum on EU membership and that growth could slow, after voting unanimously to keep rates steady. * BUSINESS CONFIDENCE: Confidence among Britain's small businesses has plummeted, a survey showed on Friday, with Northern Irish and Scottish businesses the least confident in the face of a global economic slowdown and public-sector austerity. * UK CORPORATE DIARY: Berkeley Group Holdings Sales/Trading Stmt Releases Investec Sales/Trading Stmt Releases Sainsbury's and "Put up or shut up" deadline for Home Steinhoff Retail deal 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 Aastha Agnihotri in Bengaluru; Editing by Savio D'Souza)
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