UK Stocks-Factors to watch on Sept 8



Sept 8 (Reuters) - Britain's FTSE 100 .FTSE index is seen opening steady on Wednesday, with futures .FFIc1 down 0.38%.

* SMITHS GROUP: British industrial technology company Smiths Group SMIN.L agreed to sell its medical unit to U.S.-based ICU Medical Inc ICUI.O for $2.4 billion and withdrew its backing for the deal with private equity firm TA Associates.

* MORRISONS: British supermarket group Morrisons MRW.L said it was in talks with its two U.S. private equity suitors and the Takeover Panel, which governs deals in the UK, regarding an auction procedure to settle its future ownership.

* HALFORDS: British bikes and car parts retailer Halfords HFD.L said disruption in the global supply chain was dragging on its cycling business, although it stuck to its full-year profit target.

* BP: BP PLC BP.L is in the process of restarting its Gulf of Mexico operations in the aftermath of Hurricane Ida, the company said on Tuesday, adding that repairs were underway at its onshore assets in Houma and Port Fourchon.

* BHP: BHP Group BHP.AX will team up with billionaire-backed AI exploration firm KoBold Metals to look for battery minerals like copper and nickel in Australia and other global locations, the companies said on Wednesday.

* TAX: British Prime Minister Boris Johnson set out plans on Tuesday to raise taxes on workers, employers and some investors to try to fix a health and social care funding crisis, angering some in his governing party by breaking election promises.

* ASTRAZENECA: AstraZeneca Plc AZN.L Chief Executive Pascal Soriot said booster COVID vaccine doses may not be needed for everyone in Britain and rushing into a nationwide rollout of third doses risks piling extra pressure on the National Health Service (NHS), the Telegraph reported on Tuesday.

* MARSHMALLOW: Digital motor insurer Marshmallow has raised $85 million from investors, valuing it at more than $1.25 billion and making it the first British Black-founded unicorn, the company said on Wednesday.

* GOLD: Gold prices recovered from a 1.6% drop in the previous session to approach the key psychological level of $1,800 on Wednesday as the dollar rally paused.

* OIL: Oil prices rose, paring overnight losses, with producers in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico struggling to restart operations nine days after Hurricane Ida swept through.

* London's FTSE 100 index ended lower on Tuesday, weighed down by healthcare stocks and brokerages, while DS Smith SMDS.L jumped to the top of the index after an upbeat trading update.

* UK CORPORATE DIARY: Dunelm

DNLM.L

FY results Biffa

BIFF.L

Trading update

* 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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