UK Stocks-Factors to watch on April 20

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UK Stocks-Factors to watch on April 20
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April 20 (Reuters) - Britain's blue chip FTSE 100 .FTSE index is seen opening down 0.16 percent at 7103 points on Thursday, according to financial spreadbetters.

* IHG: Global hotel chain InterContinental Hotels Group Plc IHG.L said 1,200 of its franchised hotels in the United States, including Holiday Inn and Crowne Plaza, were victims of a three-month cyber attack that sought to steal customer payment card data. RIO TINTO: Global miner Rio Tinto RIO.AX , RIO.L on Thursday said first-quarter iron production from Australia fell 3 percent from the same period a year ago due to wet weather at its mines, but kept its full-year guidance intact despite weakening ore prices. OIL: Oil prices regained some ground on Thursday after steep losses the previous day, with a slight drop in U.S. crude inventories stoking hopes that a push to rein in global oversupply could be gathering at least some momentum. GOLD: Gold held firm on Thursday, after falling as much as 1 percent the previous day, as tensions surrounding North Korea and the upcoming French presidential election offered support to the safe-haven asset amid a firmer dollar. Spot gold XAU= was up 0.1 percent at $1,280 per ounce as of 0107 GMT. Copper: London copper rose on Thursday but was mired near its lowest for the year after China's refined production surged in March, underlining ample stocks in the world's biggest metals consumer. Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange CMCU3 rose by 0.7 percent to $5593 a tonne by 0126 GMT. EMA: The European Medicines Agency (EMA), Europe's equivalent of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, is preparing to leave its London headquarters in the wake of Brexit and its executive director is hoping for a quick decision on its new location. France offered the northern city of Lille as a candidate to host the European Union's drug regulator to replace London after Britain leaves the bloc, the government said on Wednesday. EX-DIVS: BAE Systems BAES.L , Barratt Developments BDEV.L , Intu Properties INTUP.L , Mondi MNDI.L and Smurfit Kappa Group SKG.L will trade without entitlement to their latest dividend pay-out on Thursday, trimming 3.1 points off the FTSE 100, according to Reuters calculations. Britain's top share index closed down 0.5 percent at 7,114.36 points as it came under pressure once again on Wednesday, giving up the gains it had made in 2017 as sterling held close to a six-and-a-half-month high after Prime Minister Theresa May called for a snap general election. For more on the factors affecting European stocks, please click on: cpurl://apps.cp./cms/?pageId=livemarkets

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