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UK Stocks-Factors to watch on March 20

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  1. March 20 (Reuters) - Britain's FTSE 100 .FTSE index is seen opening 1 point higher at 7,426 on Monday, according to financial bookmakers.

    • The UK blue chip FTSE 100 .FTSE index ended 0.1 percent higher at 7,424.96 points on Friday, closing at a record level but with a stronger sterling capping gains.
    • UNILEVER: Unilever ULVR.L is preparing a 6 billion pound ($7.44 billion) sale of some of its food brands, British newspapers reported on Saturday.
    • BHP BILLITON: The labor union at the world's largest copper mine, BHP Billiton's BLT.L Escondida in Chile, called a fresh offer of talks by management to end a 39-day strike "manipulative."
    • RBS: Lawyers representing tens of thousands of Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) RBS.L shareholders have held tentative talks to settle a 1.2 billion pound damages claim over the lender's 2008 rights issue that was launched shortly before a state bailout, two sources said.
    • PETROFAC/WOOD GROUP: Canada's SNC-Lavalin SNC.TO and Petrofac PFC.L are eyeing Wood Group WG.L and Amec Foster Wheeler AMFW.L with the aim of acquiring assets and contracts likely to be divested by the UK pair as a result of their 2.2 bln pounds merger, the Financial Times reported on Sunday.
    • ASTRAZENECA: A newer class of type 2 diabetes drugs significantly cut the risk of death and hospitalization for heart failure compared with other medicines for the disease, according to data released on Sunday from a so-called real world study sponsored by AstraZeneca AZN.L .
    • MELROSE: Melrose Industries MRON.L bosses are likely to be handed shares worth more than 150 mln pounds, Sky News reported on Sunday.
    • BRITAIN HOUSING: Asking prices for homes in England and Wales are showing above-average increases as a shortage of properties for sale outweighed any nervousness about Brexit, a survey published by property data firm Rightmove showed on Monday.
    • BREXIT: Prime Minister Theresa May will visit Wales on Monday as part of a plan to engage with all the nations of the United Kingdom before she formally launches Britain's departure from the European Union.
    • OIL: Oil prices fell on Monday as rising U.S. drilling activity and steady supplies from OPEC countries despite touted production cuts pressured already-bloated markets.
    • For more on the factors affecting European stocks, please click on: cpurl://apps.cp./cms/?pageId=livemarkets
    • UK CORPORATE DIARY: Phoenix Group PHNX.L Full Year 2016 One Media IP Group OMIP.L Full Year 2016 MaxCyte Inc MXCT.L Full Year 2016 JKX Oil and Gas JKX.L Full Year 2016
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