August 4, 2017 / 5:21 AM / a year ago

UK Stocks-Factors to watch on Aug. 4

    Aug 4 (Reuters) - Britain's FTSE 100 index is seen opening down 2
points at 7473 on Friday, according to financial spreadbetters. 
    * ECONOMY: British shops saw a dip in sales last month, with fashion
retailers enduring their worst July for eight years, a survey showed on Friday,
adding to evidence consumers are cutting back spending on discretionary items.
Britain's economy has slowed as the rise in inflation since last year's Brexit
vote and modest pay growth have squeezed consumers' real earnings.
    * OIL: Oil markets dipped on Friday, with U.S. crude remaining below $50 per
barrel, restrained by rising output from the United States as well as producer
club OPEC. Brent crude futures, the international benchmark for oil
prices, were at $51.90 a barrel, down 11 cents, or 0.2 percent, from their last
close and around 70 cents for the week.
    * GOLD: Gold held steady on Friday, close to a seven-week high hit earlier
this week, as the dollar eased to hover near multi-month lows ahead of monthly
U.S. nonfarm payrolls data due out later and amid continuing U.S. political
uncertainty. Spot gold was nearly flat at $1,268.00 per ounce at 0434
GMT. It was on track to end the week almost unchanged.
    * LONDON COPPER: Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange
barely budged from overnight levels, trading at $6,343 a tonne at 0100 GMT.

    * UK blue chips rose to a one-week high on Thursday after the Bank of
England kept rates on hold, hitting the pound and lifting export-oriented stocks
accordingly. The market is also buoyed by solid earnings updates. The FTSE
 rose 0.85 percent to 7,474.77 points with big international firms like
Diageo extending gains as sterling weakened following the central bank's
    * For more on the factors affecting European stocks, please click on: cpurl://apps.cp./cms/?pageId=livemarkets
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    > Financial Times                     
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 (Reporting by Sanjeeban Sarkar in Bengaluru; Editing by Sunil Nair)
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