UPDATE 1-UK Stocks-Factors to watch on Aug 30

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UPDATE 1-UK Stocks-Factors to watch on Aug 30
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Aug 30 (Reuters) - Britain's FTSE 100 .FTSE index is seen opening 11 points lower at 7,553 on Thursday, according to financial bookmakers, with futures FFIc1 down 0.15 percent ahead of the cash market open.

* SSE/NPOWER: Britain's competition regulator on Thursday approved the merger between the retail power units of energy companies SSE SSE.L and Innogy's IGY.DE Npower. HAYS: British recruitment company Hays Plc HAYS.L on Thursday declared a special dividend and boosted its full-year dividend by 18 percent, as it reported higher annual profit thanks to stronger growth in Germany, Australia and the United Kingdom. HUNTING: Oilfield services provider Hunting Plc HTG.L on Thursday reinstated its dividend and reported a profit for the first half of 2018, as it saw stronger demand on the back of rising crude prices. CHESNARA: Pension and life insurance administrator Chesnara Plc's CSN.L profit before tax halved year-on-year in the six months to June, the company said on Thursday, saying its Scildon business had been hurt by losses on Italian bonds. SKY: Activist hedge fund Elliott believes Walt Disney's DIS.N deal to buy assets from Twenty-First Century Fox FOXA.O has valued Sky SKYB.L at more than $34 billion, higher than any of the current offers for the British broadcaster, Britain's takeover regulator disclosed on Wednesday. ASTRAZENECA: The U.S. Food and Drug Administration said on Wednesday a serious genital infection has been reported in patients taking SGLT2 inhibitors, a certain class of diabetes drugs approved for AstraZeneca Plc AZN.L and several other firms. GULF KEYSTONE PETROLEUM: Activist hedge fund Taconic Capital Advisors said on Wednesday that it would sell a 3.55 percent stake in Iraq-based oil producer Gulf Keystone Petroleum Ltd GKP.L . EX-DIVS: Intercontinental Hotel Group IHG.L , St James's Place SJP.L will trade without entitlement to their latest dividend pay-out on Thursday, trimming 0.58 points off the FTSE 100 according to Reuters calculations. The UK blue chip index closed down 0.7 percent at 7,563.21 points on Wednesday, under pressure from a bounce in the pound on the back of remarks from the European Union's chief negotiator Michel Barnier, who offered Britain close ties after Brexit. For more on the factors affecting European stocks, please click on: cpurl://apps.cp./cms/?pageId=livemarkets Multimedia versions of Reuters Top News are now available for:

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