January 5, 2017 / 6:45 AM / a year ago

REFILE-UK Stocks-Factors to watch on Jan 5

(Refiles to drop item on ex-dividend stocks)
    Jan 5 (Reuters) - Britain's FTSE 100 index is seen opening flat to 4
points higher, or up as much as 0.06 percent, on Thursday, according to
financial bookmakers.
    * The UK blue chip index closed slightly firmer at 0.17 percent higher at
7,189.74 points, near a record high, on Wednesday as a rally in housebuilders
was offset by a slump in retailers after Next issued a profit warning.
    * BARCLAYS: A former Barclays Plc trader pleaded guilty on
Wednesday to U.S. charges arising from a global investigation into the
manipulation of foreign-exchange prices at major banks, the U.S. Department of
Justice said. 
    * BHP BILLITON: Workers at BHP Billiton-owned  Escondida, the
world's biggest copper mine, could go on strike in February if collective
contract talks with the company are unsuccessful, union spokesman Carlos Allende
told Reuters on Wednesday. 
    * GLENCORE: Russian state holding company Rosneftegaz closed a deal with the
Qatar Investment Authority (QIA) and commodities trader Glencore to
sell a 19.5 percent stake in state-owned oil major Rosneft, Rosneft
said on Wednesday. 
    * UK ECONOMY: Britain's economy retained its momentum through the final
months of 2016, but inflation pressures mounted at the fastest pace since
records began almost 20 years ago, a major business survey showed on Thursday.
    * UK CAR SALES: British new car sales hit a record of 2.7 million units in
2016 despite fears that the Brexit vote could hit demand, although there are
signs that registrations will fall this year, preliminary industry data showed
on Thursday. 
    * UK IMMIGRATION: Britain should look at introducing a regionally based
immigration system in which visas could be issued for specific areas of the
country, a parliamentary committee said in a report on Thursday. 
    * OIL: Oil prices dipped on Thursday on doubts producers would fully deliver
on promises to cut output, although record U.S. automobile sales and falling
crude stocks offered markets some support. 
    * For more on the factors affecting European stocks, please click on: cpurl://apps.cp./cms/?pageId=livemarkets
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 (Reporting by Esha Vaish in Bengaluru; Editing by Sunil Nair)
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