UPDATE 1-UK Stocks-Factors to watch on June 29

(Adds company news, futures)

June 29 (Reuters) – Britain’s FTSE 100 index is seen
opening up 37 points at 7,424 on Thursday, according to
financial bookmakers, with futures up 0.52 percent ahead
of the cash market open.

* DS SMITH: DS Smith Plc, a British maker of
corrugated cardboard, recycled paper and plastic packaging, said
it had agreed to buy 80 percent of Interstate Resources, a U.S.
corrugated packaging business, from Merpas Co for $920 million.

* JOHN WOOD GROUP: Oilfield services company John Wood Group
Plc said fewer projects and modifications work,
particularly in the North Sea region, weighed on its first half,
while impact of a tougher pricing environment would result in a
reduction in the first-half margin.

* TESCO/BOOKER: British supermarket Tesco and its
takeover target Booker have asked the UK competition
regulator to “fast track” examination of their 3.7 billion
pounds ($4.8 billion) deal to a more detailed second stage, they
said on Thursday.

* BT GROUP: Britain’s Financial Reporting Council (FRC) said
on Thursday it would investigate PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP’s
audits of BT Group for 2015 to 2017 after an accounting
scandal in the telecoms company’s Italian operations.

* Rolls-Royce: Rolls-Royce has plans for a new test plant in
Derby, making way for its biggest single investment into the UK
in more than a decade, The Financial Times reported on

* RIO TINTO: Rio Tinto shareholders
approved the sale of a suite of Australian coal assets to
China-backed Yancoal Australia for $2.69 billion,
ending a bidding war with commodities trader Glencore.

* BARCLAYS: The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission may
take action against bankers from Barclays Plc and
Morgan Stanley for their roles in Puerto Rico bond sales,
Bloomberg reported.

* ROYAL DUTCH SHELL: The widows of four of nine men executed
by Nigeria’s military regime in 1995 have filed a civil lawsuit
seeking compensation and an apology from Royal Dutch Shell
for alleged complicity in a military crackdown,
according to a writ filed in a court in The Hague.

* OIL: Crude oil futures rose for a sixth consecutive
session on Thursday, as a decline in U.S. production underpinned
the market that has been under pressure from a global supply

* GOLD: Gold held firm on Thursday as the U.S. dollar
hovered near 10-month lows on bets that central banks in Europe
and Britain are preparing to scale back monetary

* COPPER: London copper punched through a key technical
level on Thursday as a weaker dollar and falling supply helped
prices hit their highest in almost three months.

* EX-DIVS: Babcock International,British Land
Company,Coca Cola HBC, International
Consolidated Airlines, Royal Mail will trade
without entitlement to their latest dividend pay-out on
Thursday, trimming 2.26 points off the FTSE 100 according to
Reuters calculations

* The UK blue chip index fell 0.6 percent on Wednesday,
depressed by a slide in Hargreaves Lansdown and oil
stocks, though a jump in Bunzl’s shares offered some relief.

* For more on the factors affecting European stocks, please
click on: cpurl://apps.cp./cms/?pageId=livemarkets


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(Reporting by Harish Bhaskar)