UK Stocks-Factors to watch on July 21



July 21 (Reuters) - Britain's FTSE 100 .FTSE index is seen opening steady on Wednesday, with futures FFIc1 marginally up 0.13%.

* ANTOFAGASTA: Chilean miner Antofagasta ANTO.L said on Wednesday copper production in the first half of 2021 fell 2.8% to 361,500 tonnes from the same year-ago period, due to lower recoveries and grades at some operations.

* FOXTONS: London-based real estate agent Foxtons Group FOXT.L said it is reviewing strategic options for its mortgage broking business, Alexander Hall Associates Ltd, including a potential sale.

*RIO: Miner Rio Tinto RIO.L decided to shut a furnace at its Richards Bay Minerals project in South Africa, as supply of the raw material used to fuel it was hampered by an "escalation in the security situation".

* ROYAL MAIL: Royal Mail Plc RMG.L said Britons were having fewer parcels delivered to their homes as pandemic restrictions eased across the country, even as the postal company reported a 12.5% rise in first-quarter group revenue.

* NEXT: British fashion retailer Next NXT.L said it had soundly beaten its expectations for full-price sales, with a rise of 19% in the last 11 weeks compared with two years ago, and as a result it was increasing its profit guidance.

* RIO: Rio Tinto Ltd RIO.AX said it has reached an agreement with stakeholders of the Bougainville community to look into potential environmental damage and human rights breaches at a copper mine it ran decades ago.

* INSURANCE: The cost of a comprehensive car insurance policy in Britain fell 12% in the second quarter to its lowest level since early 2016 due to COVID-19 lockdowns, although it might rebound to pre-pandemic levels as restrictions ease, a survey showed on Wednesday.

* AVIVA: British insurer Aviva AV.L called for urgent action from policymakers, developers and insurers to protect homes and businesses from the impact of climate change, saying most were ill-prepared to handle extreme weather.

* ECONOMY: Britain's economic bounce-back from the coronavirus lockdowns cooled in June despite a surge in business for the country's hospitality sector, according to a survey which echoed other signs that the has lost some of its pace.

* ST. MODWEN: St. Modwen Properties SMP.L said on Tuesday the Blackstone-backed firm, which plans to take the UK logistics and residential property firm private in a $1.75 billion deal, has entered into a loan agreement to fund the transaction.

* OIL: Oil prices fell on Wednesday after an industry report showed an unexpected build-up in U.S. oil inventories last week, which heightened worries about a resurgence in COVID-19 infections potentially dampening fuel demand.

* GOLD: Gold eased as the dollar emerged as the preferred safe-haven bet amid fears that the highly contagious Delta coronavirus variant may stall a global economic recovery, while a rebound in U.S. bond yields further pressured bullion prices.

* Miners and bank stocks helped the FTSE 100 rebound on Tuesday after surging coronavirus cases and fears of an economic slowdown pushed the index to a two-month low in the previous session.

* For more on the factors affecting European stocks, please click on:

TODAY'S UK PAPERS

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Reporting by Shanima A in Bengaluru

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