March 17, 2017 / 7:38 AM / a year ago

UPDATE 2-UK STOCKS-Factors to watch on March 17

 (Adds company news items, updates futures)
    March 17 (Reuters) - Britain's FTSE 100 futures         were down 0.2
percent ahead of the cash market open on Friday.
    * The UK blue chip FTSE 100         index closed 0.6 percent higher at
7,415.95 points on Thursday, helped by a surge in commodities-related stocks,
but pared some gains after a Bank of England policymaker voted for a rate hike.
    * BERKELEY: London-focussed housebuilder Berkeley          said it expected
full-year profits to be at the top end of market expectations despite demand
falling in the capital due to Brexit and an increase in property taxes on the
priciest homes.            
    * PANMURE GORDON: Former Barclays          chief executive Bob Diamond's
private equity firm and an investment vehicle of the Qatari royal family said on
Friday that they have agreed to buy British stock broker Panmure Gordon
    * TULLOW OIL: Britain's Tullow Oil Plc         said on Friday it would raise
about 607 million pounds ($748 million) through a rights issue of 466.9 million
shares as it look to reduce debt.            
    * BP: BP Plc        on Friday said it had sold around half its roughly
20-percent stake in New Zealand Refining Company Limited          for NZ$80.4
million ($56.2 million) as part of a global portfolio review.             
    * BP: UK petrochemicals group Ineos is in talks with BP to buy the Forties
Pipeline System, located in the North Sea, the Financial Times reported on
    * BHP BILLITON: The striking union at BHP Billiton's         Escondida mine
in Chile, the world's biggest copper mine, said on Thursday that it would return
to the negotiating table if the company gave a written guarantee that it would
only discuss the union's three key demands.              
    * ANGLO AMERICAN: Indian billionaire Anil Agarwal said he wants to buy a 2
billion pound ($2.45 billion) stake in Anglo American        , a major vote of
confidence in the global miner's recovery.             
    * BRITISH AMERICAN TOBACCO: British American Tobacco (BAT)          said
demand for its "glo" tobacco heating device overwhelmed supply in its Japan test
marketing, as global cigarette giants shift focus to the new product category
amid declining smoking population.                
    * BRITAIN BOND: British 10-year government bond yields hit a one-month high
on Thursday after a Bank of England policymaker unexpectedly voted to raise
interest rates, and there were signs that some other officials could be tempted
to follow suit soon.             
    * BREXIT: Recent weakness in British pay growth likely reflects temporary
caution about Brexit among employers, Bank of England rate-setter Kristin Forbes
said in a newspaper opinion piece published in the Daily Telegraph on Thursday.
    * OIL: Oil prices were little changed in early Asian trade on Friday as the
market looked for clues on how effectively OPEC production cuts are working to
absorb a global supply overhang.             
    * For more on the factors affecting European stocks, please click on: cpurl://apps.cp./cms/?pageId=livemarkets
    > Financial Times                                
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 (Reporting by Siju Varghese)
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