UPDATE 1-UK Stocks-Factors to watch on Oct. 17
(Adds company news items and futures)
Oct 17 (Reuters) - Britain's FTSE 100 .FTSE index is seen opening up 2 points to 7,170 on Thursday, according to financial bookmakers, with futures up 0.23% ahead of cash markets open.
* WH SMITH: WH Smith Plc SMWH.L on Thursday reported a 7% increase in annual pretax profit and said it would buy Marshall Retail Group for about $400 million to expand internationally. GRAFTON GROUP: The Building materials distributor GFTU_u.L warned on Thursday that its annual profit would be below market expectations, due to weak consumer demand in the UK and delays in new construction permits in Netherlands. UNILEVER: The Consumer goods giant ULVR.L , the maker of Knorr soups and Dove soap, reported weaker-than-expected third quarter sales, blaming softer demand in India and a slowdown in China, two of its biggest emerging markets. ASTRAZENECA: The Drugmaker AZN.L said on Thursday its experimental breast cancer treatment will get a speedy review by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, with a decision by the health regulator expected in the second quarter of next year. DOMINO'S PIZZA: Britain's biggest pizza delivery company DOM.L , said on Thursday it will exit its international markets, where it has been facing mounting losses. ROYAL BANK OF SCOTLAND: Royal Bank of Scotland RBS.L has increased its Brexit support fund for small businesses by 2.2 billion pounds to 8.2 billion pounds ($10.5 billion), after identifying several thousand customers who may be impacted by Britain's departure. OIL: Oil prices eased on Thursday after industry data showed a larger-than-expected build-up in stocks in the United States, although losses were limited by comments by U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin on a U.S.-China trade deal. GOLD: Gold prices eased on Thursday and held below the $1,490 an ounce level, as traders refrained from making any big bets in the absence of fresh developments on the Sino-U.S. trade war front and Brexit negotiations. EX-DIVS: Bae Systems, Smiths Group (LON: SMIN ) will trade without entitlement to its latest dividend pay-out on Thursday, trimming 1.7 points off the FTSE 100 according to Reuters calculations. Britain's mid-cap stocks index FTSE 250 .FTMC cut its losses from the morning on Wednesday and was last down marginally. For more on the factors affecting European stocks, please click on: LIVE/
TODAY'S UK PAPERS
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