UK Stocks-Factors to watch on Feb. 16

Last Updated: Thu, Feb 16, 2017 13:00 hrs

Feb 16 (Reuters) - Britain's FTSE 100 index is seen opening down 7 points to 7295 on Thursday, according to financial bookmakers. * The blue-chip FTSE 100 index closed 0.5 percent higher at 7302.41 after setting its highest level since mid-January on Wednesday as investors bet on financial stocks following U.S. Federal Reserve chief Janet Yellen's hawkish tone suggested U.S. interest rates would rise. A rally in mining shares also lent some support to the broader stock market. * TATA STEEL: Tata Steel's British workers voted on Wednesday to accept pension benefit cuts in return for safeguards on jobs and investment, although the Indian company's plan to spin off its entire UK pension scheme still faces regulatory hurdles. * OIL: Oil held steady on Thursday, supported by ongoing supply cuts led by producer group OPEC, while rising fuel inventories and crude production in the United States dragged on prices. Brent crude futures were trading at $55.74 per barrel at 0550 GMT, down just 1 cent from their last close. * STERLING: Sterling touched one-week lows against a broadly stronger dollar on Wednesday after U.S. consumer prices had their biggest jump in nearly four years and retail numbers beat expectations. * COPPER: Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange edged up by 0.3 percent to $6,085 a tonne by 0128 GMT, extending small 0.7 percent gains from the previous session. Prices hit the highest since May 2015 at $6,204 a tonne on Monday. * EX-DIVS: AstraZeneca, BP, Imperial Brands, Royal Dutch Shell A and Royal Dutch Shell B will trade without entitlement to their latest dividend pay-out on Thursday, trimming 27.64 points off the FTSE 100 according to Reuters calculations * For more on the factors affecting European stocks, please click on: cpurl://apps.cp./cms/?pageId=livemarkets * UK CORPORATE DIARY: Drax Group PLC Full Year 2016 Drax Group PLC Earnings Release Lancashire Holdings Q4 2016 Lancashire Holdings Ltd Ltd Earnings Release Avation PLC Half Year 2017 Avation PLC Earnings Release Shire PLC Full Year 2016 Shire PLC Earnings Release TODAY'S UK PAPERS > Financial Times > Other business headlines Multimedia versions of Reuters Top News are now available for: * 3000 Xtra : visit * For Top News : (Reporting by Sanjeeban Sarkar in Bengaluru)

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