October 31, 2018 / 7:52 AM / 13 days ago

UPDATE 1-UK Stocks-Factors to watch on Oct 31

(Adds company news items and futures)

Oct 31 (Reuters) - Britain’s FTSE 100 index is seen opening 48 points higher at 7,084 on Wednesday, according to financial bookmakers, with FTSE 100 futures expected to be up 0.92 percent ahead of the cash market open.

* NEXT: British clothing retailer Next on Wednesday reported a slight slowdown in full-price sales growth in its third quarter but maintained its full-year profit guidance.

* WILLIAM HILL: British gaming and betting company William Hill Plc said on Wednesday that it offered to buy Sweden-based gaming company Mr Green & Co AB for SEK 2.82 billion ($307.40 million).

* INTU: Intu Properties Plc said on Wednesday that it had given a consortium led by its deputy chairman John Whittaker more time to make an offer for the shopping centre owner.

* NEX, CME: Britain’s competition watchdog said it had cleared CME Group Inc’s 3.9 billion pounds ($4.96 billion) deal to buy Michael Spencer’s NEX Group Plc, paving the way for a cross-border trading powerhouse.

* GEM DIAMONDS: Gem Diamonds Ltd raised its full-year production target on Wednesday after reporting a 16.2 percent jump in diamonds found during the quarter, as demand and prices for white rough diamonds remained strong.

* JUST GROUP: British retirement services specialist Just Group on Wednesday posted a 17 percent year-on-year rise in third-quarter new business sales, boosted by demand from companies to offload pension-scheme risk.

* STANDARD CHARTERED: Standard Chartered reported on Wednesday a better than expected 31.3 percent rise in quarterly profit before tax, as the British lender attempts to bring down stubbornly high costs and boost flatlining revenues.

* RANDGOLD RESOURCES: Randgold Resources Ltd said on Tuesday its Loulo-Gounkoto gold mining complex in Mali had stepped up production, with increased grades expected in the third and fourth quarter of the year.

* GSK: A once-monthly injection to control HIV proved as effective as daily pills in a second study by GlaxoSmithKline, paving the way for a new regimen that could be simpler for some patients to be filed with regulators.

* SPORTS DIRECT: Sports Direct, the sportswear group controlled by retail tycoon Mike Ashley, has added to an already lengthy list of UK investments by snapping up specialist cycling retailer Evans Cycles.

* GOLD: Gold prices fell to a more than two-week low on Wednesday as Asian stocks gained and the dollar touched multi-month highs on upbeat U.S. economic data.

* OIL: Oil prices climbed for the first time in three days on Wednesday, but rising supply and fears over the outlook for demand amid the U.S.-China trade war kept pressure on the market.

* The UK blue chip index closed up 0.1 percent on Tuesday as strong update from BP helped the UK’s top share index end a choppy session in the black, offsetting disappointing results from heavyweight Reckitt Benckiser and outperforming European equities.

* For more on the factors affecting European stocks, please click on: cpurl://apps.cp./cms/?pageId=livemarkets

TODAY’S UK PAPERS

> Financial Times

> Other business headlines (Reporting by Tanishaa Nadkar in Bengaluru)

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