UK Stocks-Factors to watch on May 20
May 20 (Reuters) - Britain's FTSE 100 index is seen opening up 62 points, or 1 percent higher on Friday, according to financial bookmakers. For more on the factors affecting European stocks, please click on * The UK blue chip index dropped 112.45 points, or 1.8 percent, to close at 6,053.35 on Thursday after the disappearance of an EgyptAir flight and a drop in summer bookings for Thomas Cook weighed on the travel sector, while mining shares also dipped. * HSBC: HSBC Holdings Plc said it plans to close 24 branches in India after a strategic review of its retail banking and wealth management business showed customers are increasingly opting for digital banking services. * TOBACCO RULING: Britain got the go-ahead on Thursday to make plain packaging compulsory on cigarettes when a court struck down a legal challenge brought by the world's top four tobacco companies. * BREXIT: Betting odds on Thursday indicated the highest chance to date of Britain voting to stay in the European Union, with the implied probability of a vote for membership rising to as high as 83 percent. * GOLD: Gold steadied after two days of losses on Friday, but was on track for its biggest weekly slide in eight weeks on the back of a firmer dollar and indications from the U.S. Federal Reserve that it could raise interest raise rates as early as June. * OIL: Oil prices rose in early trading on Friday as turmoil in Nigeria, shale bankruptcies in the United States and crisis in Venezuela all contributed to tightening supplies. * UK CORPORATE DIARY: Spectris PLC Trading Statement Close Brothers Q3 results TODAY'S UK PAPERS > Financial Times > Other business headlines (Reporting by Aastha Agnihotri in Bengaluru; Editing by Sunil Nair)
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