May 18, 2018 / 5:33 AM / 10 months ago

UK Stocks-Factors to watch on May 18

    May 18 (Reuters) - Britain's FTSE 100 index is seen opening down 14
points at 7,774 on Friday, according to financial bookmakers.  
    * BARCLAYS: Activist investor Edward Bramson is calling on Barclays
to end the bulk of trading activities at its investment bank, in a radical plan
to cut costs and boost returns at the British lender.
    * RYANAIR: Ryanair said its issues with pilot staffing have
stabilised, with would-be Ryanair pilots queueing up to join after the company
decided to recognise unions and offer direct contracts.
    * GSK: GlaxoSmithKline is putting more marketing muscle behind its
new lung drugs and is looking for a sales boost as top respiratory experts
gather to analyse clinical trials data at a meeting in San Diego this weekend. 

    * RBS: The British unit of Spain's biggest bank Banco Santander SA
plans to apply for a slice of the 775 million pounds of funds that RBS
agreed to make available to stimulate competition in the U.K. small-business
lending market, Bloomberg reported.
    * BP: BP Plc and ConocoPhillips are in discussions for an
asset swap deal that would see the U.K. energy major gain a greater foothold in
a key project in the North Sea and the U.S. explorer get Alaskan assets,
Bloomberg reported.
    * SAINSBURY: UK Business secretary Greg Clark has written to the UK
competition regulator insisting that its inquiry into J Sainsbury's
proposed takeover of Asda must look at the implications for supermarket
suppliers., FT reported.
    * GOLD: Gold prices edged down on Friday to near their lowest levels this
year, pressured by a firm U.S. dollar amid surging U.S. Treasury yields.

    * OIL: Oil prices held firm on Friday on strong demand, ongoing supply cuts
led by producer cartel OPEC and looming U.S. sanctions against major crude
exporter Iran.
    * The UK blue chip index closed 53.77 points higher at 7787.97 on Thursday,
as strong oil prices helped the index seal its highest ever closing level.

    * For more on the factors affecting European stocks, please click on: cpurl://apps.cp./cms/?pageId=livemarkets
 Hikma Pharmaceuticals PLC           Interim Management Statement
 AstraZeneca PLC                     Q1 2018 Earnings Release
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 (Reporting by Sangameswaran S in Bengaluru)
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