UK Stocks-Factors to watch on Sept 29

Sept 29 (Reuters) - Britain's FTSE 100 .FTSE index is seen opening 2 points higher on Wednesday, with futures .FFIc1 marginally down 0.12%.

* NEXT: British clothing retailer Next NXT.L raised its full-year profit outlook for the fourth time in six months as it reported a 5.9% rise in first-half profit on a two-year basis.

* SSP: Upper Crust owner SSP SSPG.L said sales in the latest week were about half of pre-pandemic levels.

* ASTRAZENECA: AstraZeneca AZN.L said its newly acquired Alexion division will purchase the remaining equity in drugmaker Caelum Biosciences in a deal that could be worth up to $500 million.

* UK WATCHDOG: Britain's financial watchdog set out plans for the temporary publication of 'synthetic' versions of Libor, the tarnished interest rate benchmark that is being largely scrapped at the end of December.

* AMAZON UK: Amazon AMZN.O said it has started recruiting for 20,000 seasonal positions across the United Kingdom to cover upcoming peak trading times, which include Christmas.

* GAS STATIONS: British troops will begin driving fuel tankers to filling stations later this week, Sky News reported on Tuesday, citing a defence source.

* CHRISTMAS VISA: British Prime Minister Boris Johnson's proposed three-month working visa for European truckers.

* GOLD: Gold prices crawled up on Wednesday as U.S. Treasury yields slightly eased, but held close to a seven-week trough on growing expectations of a quicker-than-expected U.S. rate hike that pushed the dollar to a multi-month high.

* OIL: Oil prices fell after U.S. crude inventories unexpectedly rose as doubts over demand resurfaced, with COVID-19 cases continuing to increase worldwide and some regions facing gasoline shortages.

* London's blue-chip FTSE 100 index ended lower on Tuesday, dragged down by heavyweight homebuilders and financial stocks.

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


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(Reporting By Geetha Panchaksharam)

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