UK Stocks-Factors to watch on Aug 19



Aug 19 (Reuters) - Britain's FTSE 100 .FTSE index is seen opening 65 points lower on Thursday, according to financial bookmakers, with futures FFIc1 down 1.03%

* ANTOFAGASTA: Chilean miner Antofagasta ANTO.L saw its half-year profit soar to $1.784 billion, from $388 million in the same period of 2020, and said it will pay an interim dividend of 23.6 cents per share, benefiting from higher copper and gold prices.

* RIO TINTO: Global miner Rio Tinto RIO.AX said on Thursday it is collaborating with Western Australia's government to launch COVID-19 vaccination programs for communities in the Pilbara region, including its employees, families and contractors.

* MCBRIDE: British cleaning products maker McBride MCB.L expects 2021 adjusted profit to be 55%-65% lower than market expectations, it said on Thursday, citing distribution challenges stemming from a shortage of lorry drivers and supply issues.

* HSBC: HSBC Holdings HSBA.L said the banking group has initiated legal proceedings against El Salvador for what the company called a breach of the nation's investment treaty with the UK.

* AVAST: Asset manager Schroders SDR.L , which holds a 6.3% stake in Avast Plc AVST.L , raised concerns over the London-listed firm's 6.2 billion pounds deal to sell itself to U.S. cybersecurity company NortonLifeLock Inc NLOK.O , The Times newspaper reported.

* ASTRAZENECA: Pascal Soriot, the chief executive of COVID-19 vaccine maker AstraZeneca AZN.L , was Britain's highest paid company boss in 2020, a year when the average FTSE 100 leader saw their pay fall by almost a fifth, a report on Thursday showed.

* ULTRA ELECTRONICS: Britain said it will investigate possible national security risks from the planned 2.6 billion-pound ($3.6 billion) acquisition of defence firm Ultra Electronics ULE.L by rival Cobham, which is owned by U.S. private equity firm Advent.

* OIL: Crude prices extended their losses into a sixth day, hovering near 3-month lows, hurt by growing fears over slower fuel demand amid a spike in COVID-19 cases worldwide while an unexpected rise in U.S. gasoline inventories added to pressure.

* GOLD: Gold prices fell, as dollar strengthened after U.S. Federal Reserve's policy meeting minutes showed that its officials were largely on board to start easing bond purchases this year.

* London's FTSE 100 was dragged lower by BHP Group BHPB.L on Wednesday as investors fretted over the miner's sale of its petroleum arm, while the midcap index closed at a record high after inflation fell sharply.

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

TODAY'S UK PAPERS

> Financial Times

> Other business headlines

(Reporting By Geetha Panchaksharam)

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