May 20, 2016 / 6:37 AM / 2 years ago

UPDATE 1-UK Stocks-Factors to watch on May 20

(Adds futures, Close Brothers, Ladbrokes)

May 20 (Reuters) - Britain’s FTSE 100 index is seen opening up 62 points, or 1 percent, on Friday, according to financial bookmakers, with futures up 0.9 percent ahead of the cash market open. 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.

* LADBROKES: Bookmakers Ladbrokes and Gala Coral will have to sell between 350 and 400 shops to win clearance for their merger, the British competition regulator said on Friday.

* CLOSE BROTHERS GROUP: British lender Close Brothers Group said its banking division loan book grew 4 percent in the third-quarter, benefiting from strong growth in its leasing products and a seasonal uplift in motor finance.

* 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.


> Financial Times

> Other business headlines (Reporting by Aastha Agnihotri in Bengaluru; Editing by Sunil Nair)

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