UK Stocks-Factors to watch on March 23

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UK Stocks-Factors to watch on March 23
Credit: © Reuters.

March 23 (Reuters) - Britain's FTSE 100 .FTSE index is seen opening down 72 points on Friday, according to financial bookmakers.

BANK OF ENGLAND: The Bank of England kept interest rates steady on Thursday but two policymakers unexpectedly voted for a hike, reinforcing the view among economists that borrowing costs will rise in May for only the second time since the 2008 financial crisis.

DANA CONTRACT: Auto components maker Dana Inc DAN.N said on Thursday it would supply front and rear axles for the next generation of Jaguar and Land Rover TAMO.NS luxury vehicles in a contract worth 300 million pounds ($423.42 million).

The contract wins come as Dana has been in the midst of a bidding war with Melrose MRON.L to merge with British engineering company GKN's GKN.L automotive business.

BRITAIN FINTECH: Britain announced a task force on Thursday to exploit the technology underpinning cryptoassets, such as bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, as part of new plans to help fintech companies find more customers.

OIL: Oil prices jumped more than 1 percent on Friday, pushed up by Saudi plans for OPEC and Russian led production curbs introduced in 2017 to be extended into 2019 in order to tighten the market.

GOLD: Gold prices rose to a two-week high early Friday on a softer dollar as investors scurried to safety after U.S. President Donald Trump took a step towards long-promised anti-China tariffs, stoking fears of a global trade war. The UK blue chip index closed 1.2 percent lower at 6,952.59 on Thursday, hit by concerns over potential trade wars and following a hawkish surprise from the Bank of England's policy meeting.

* UK CORPORATE DIARY:

Smiths Group Plc

SMIN.L

Half Year 2018 Earnings Release Next Plc

NXT.L

Full Year 2017 Earnings Release

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