FTSE muted ahead of UK's mini-budget

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- UK's FTSE 100 was nearly flat on Friday, with healthcare stocks offsetting losses in oil majors, as investors awaited details of UK's mini-budget, which is expected to provide fillip to a slowing British economy.

New finance minister Kwasi Kwarteng will present parliament with a programme that includes close to 200 billion pounds ($225 billion) of tax cuts, energy subsidies and planning reforms. Kwarteng is scheduled to make the statement at 0830 GMT.

The internationally focussed FTSE 100 was unchanged at 0711 GMT, with oil majors Shell and BP falling about 1% each crude prices slipped. [O/R]

Shares of drugmakers AstraZeneca and GSK rose about 2%, supporting the FTSE 100.

The domestically focussed FTSE 250 index was also flat but was heading for sharp weekly declines.

Data earlier showed British consumer confidence slid this month to its lowest level since records began in the mid-1970s, highlighting the impact of a growing cost-of-living crisis that risks tipping the economy into a recession.

Smiths Group rose 2.6% after the industrial technology group provided upbeat full-year 2023 forecast.

Made.com plunged 36.0% after the online furniture retailer said it would cut jobs, conduct a strategic review that included a formal sale process and withdraw its full year forecast due to "challenging" market conditions.

(Reporting by Sruthi Shankar in Bengaluru; editing by Uttaresh.V)

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