UK Stocks-Factors to watch on Dec 16

Dec 16 Britain's FTSE 100 index is seen opening up 6
points on Friday, according to financial bookmakers.
    * The UK blue chip index closed up 0.7 percent on Thursday at 6999.01,
helped by stronger banking stocks and Centrica, although mining
companies fell after the U.S. Federal Reserve raised interest rates.
    * ANGLO AMERICAN/DE BEERS: Anglo American Plc's De Beers said on
Thursday it failed to find a buyer for its money-losing Snap Lake mine in
Canada's Arctic and would start flooding the underground operation in early
    * LSE: The European Union is considering legislative measures to move
London's euro-denominated clearing business to the euro zone, but the changes
would apply only after Britain leaves the bloc, an EU official told Reuters on
Thursday. London dominates clearing of derivatives denominated in euros, mainly
via the London Stock Exchange's LCH.Clearnet business. 
    * COUNTRYWIDE: British real estate agent Countrywide Plc said on
Thursday that it is considering a sale of Lambert Smith Hampton (LSH), a
commercial property consultancy firm it bought in 2013. 
    * PUNCH TAVERNS: Heineken NV and investment partner Patron Capital
have struck a 403 million pound ($500 million) deal to buy and break up Punch
Taverns, in a move that would make the Dutch brewer Britain's
third-biggest pubs group. 
    * TESCO: The former group commercial director of Tesco, Kevin
Grace, will not face charges from the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) over the
accounting scandal that rocked Britain's biggest retailer in 2014, his lawyer
said on Thursday. 
    * SHELL: Natural gas workers in Peru plan to hold an indefinite strike
starting Dec. 29 that would disrupt production of the widely-used fuel as well
as Royal Dutch Shell Plc's liquefied natural gas exports, the union
SUTRAPPEC said Thursday. 
    * SKY: Rupert Murdoch's Twenty-First Century Fox has struck a $14.6
billion deal to buy European pay-TV firm Sky that unites a media empire
across two continents and helps it take on rivals like Netflix in the
battle for viewers. 
    * UK RAIL STRIKE: A strike by train drivers which has brought rail services
in southern England to a standstill and caused chaos for hundreds of thousands
of London commuters will continue after talks on Thursday failed to end the
dispute. The dispute between the drivers' union ASLEF and Southern, run by GTR,
a joint venture owned by London-listed Go-Ahead and France's Keolis,
centres on whose role it should be to open and close the train doors.
    * UK POST OFFICE STRIKE: UK's Communication Workers Union said its members
working at the Post Office would move ahead with their planned five-day strike
in the lead up to Christmas, after the state-owned firm refused the union's
proposal for a structured period of negotiations.  
    * BREXIT: European Union leaders agreed their plan for Brexit negotiations
on Thursday, pledging to move swiftly and stick together to ensure Britain does
not cherry pick a sweet deal that might inspire others to unstitch the bloc.
    * BREXIT: World Trade Organisation access, whereby Britain would rely on its
WTO membership for access to European markets, would not be the best outcome of
Brexit, Britain's finance minister, Philip Hammond, said on Friday. 
    * BREXIT: EU leaders have agreed to invite representatives of the European
Parliament to participate in meetings to prepare for Britain's departure from
the bloc, European Council President Donald Tusk said on Thursday. 
    * UK NUCLEAR: South Korea's energy minister Joo Hyung-hwan discussed
cooperation on British nuclear energy projects in a meeting in London on
Thursday with Britain's business minister Greg Clark, South Korea's energy
ministry said in a statement. 
    * UK BUSINESS CONFIDENCE: British businesses turned more optimistic in
November about the country's economy although they are still not as confident as
they were before June's Brexit vote, a survey by polling firm YouGov and the
Centre for Economic and Business Research (CEBR), a think tank, showed.
    * LONDON RENTS: London rents, which are amongst the highest in the world,
have fallen this year for the first time since 2010 as landlords rushed into the
rental market before a tax increase in April, a report published by Landbay, a
property market lender, showed. 
    * METALS: Copper held modest overnight gains on Friday, despite a stronger
dollar and signs of mounting supply in London Metal Exchange warehouses.
    * OIL: Oil prices rose on Friday after Kuwait appeared to be lining up
bigger supply cuts than had been initially expected from January as part of a
coordinated effort by oil producers to drain a global glut. 

    * For more on the factors affecting European stocks, please click on: cpurl://apps.cp./cms/?pageId=livemarkets
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 (Reporting by Noor Zainab Hussain in Bengaluru; Editing by Sherry

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