May 27, 2014 / 6:40 AM / 4 years ago

UK Stocks-Factors to watch on May 27

LONDON, May 27 (Reuters) - Britain’s FTSE 100 index is seen opening higher on Tuesday, with the June futures contract up 0.4 percent at 0628 GMT ahead of the cash market open. For more on the factors affecting European stocks, please click on

* The UK equity market, which was closed owing to a public holiday on Monday, was set to play catch up with a strong rise in European equities on solid election showings for governing parties in Germany and Italy.

* On Monday, Germany’s DAX hit a record high and the euro zone Euro STOXX 50 hit a new 5-1/2 year peak as showings by pro-European forces in Germany and Italy provided an antidote to Eurosceptic gains in France, the UK and Greece.

* The UK blue chip index fell 4.81 points, or 0.1 percent, to 6,815.75 points on Friday. Earlier this month it climbed to 6,894.88, the highest level since December 1999, when it set a record high of 6,950.60 points.

* ASTRAZENECA : Pfizer abandoned its attempt to buy AstraZeneca for nearly 70 billion pounds ($118 billion) on Monday as a deadline approached without a last-minute change of heart by the British drugmaker.

* LLOYDS BANKING GROUP : Lloyds Banking Group said it will float about 25 percent of its TSB business on the London Stock Exchange, with the remainder sold before the end of 2015.

* INTERCONTINENTAL HOTELS : The world’s largest hotelier has rejected a 6 billion pound takeover offer from a U.S. bidder, Sky News reported, citing unidentified sources.

* BSKYB : The satellite broadcaster is grabbing a 5-million-pound stake in the owner of the Scotsman and Yorkshire Post as part of a big financial overhaul at the newspaper publisher, Johnston Press, according to the Sunday Times.

The pay-TV company will end up owning nearly 2 percent of Johnston after a 360-million-pound refinancing expected to be agreed this week, the newspaper said.

* WPP : The advertising giant has taken a stake in a social network launched by former Burberry and Topshop creative director Justin Cooke, the Sunday Times reported.

Through its AKQA subsidiary, Sir Martin Sorrel’s media empire has bought 20 percent of Tunepics, an app that lets users post photos and music at the same time, the newspaper said.

* BABCOCK INTERNATIONAL : The defence firm is teaming up with Associated British Ports in a bid to run a military harbour on the south coast, the Sunday Times said.

* BP : Rosneft and BP signed an agreement on Saturday to jointly explore for hard-to-recover oil in Russia, the first major deal for the state-run Russian oil company since the West imposed sanctions over Ukraine in March.


> Financial Times

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