December 18, 2019 / 5:15 AM / a month ago

UK Stocks-Factors to watch on Dec. 18

Dec 18 (Reuters) - Britain’s FTSE 100 index is expected to open 2 points lower at 7,524 on Wednesday, according to financial bookmakers.

* BHP: Global miner BHP Group is feeling its way back into commodities trading, making a dedicated hire to help it manage a base metals book in Singapore as it seeks to boost returns and manage transaction risk, two people with knowledge of the matter said.

* BAT: British American Tobacco (BAT) must stop advertising its e-cigarettes from any public account on Instagram, including influencers’ accounts, the UK’s advertising watchdog ruled on Wednesday.

* METRO BANK: Metro Bank said on Tuesday Vernon Hill, the founding chairman of the struggling British lender, had stepped down as a non-executive director.

* GOLD: Gold prices were largely subdued on Wednesday, with investors awaiting more details on U.S.-China trade deal, while palladium retreated from last session’s record peak.

* OIL: Oil retreated on Wednesday after rising more than 1% in the previous session as U.S. industry data showed a surprise build in crude stocks, but hopes for firmer demand next year checked a deeper fall in prices.

* The UK blue-chip index eked out a 0.1% gain on Tuesday, lifted by trade-sensitive stocks amid optimism about a proper trade agreement between China and the United States.

* UK CORPORATE DIARY: None

* For more on the factors affecting European stocks, please click on:

TODAY’S UK PAPERS

> Financial Times

> Other business headlines (Reporting by Pushkala Aripaka in Bengaluru)

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