Oil and Gas

UPDATE 2-UK Stocks-Factors to watch on Aug 16

(Adds company news items)

Aug 16 (Reuters) - Britain’s FTSE 100 index is seen opening down 14 points, or 0.2 percent lower, on Tuesday, according to spreadbetters, with futures down 0.5 percent ahead of the cash market open.

* The UK blue chip index closed 0.4 percent higher on Monday at 6941.19 points, touching a fresh 14-month high after oil stocks rallied, with Sage Group recovering from an early fall after a data breach.

* BHP BILLITON: BHP Billiton reported a record $6.4 billion annual loss on Tuesday, hammered by a bad bet on shale, a dam disaster in Brazil and a commodities slump, but said it expects its free cash flow to more than double this year.

* ANTOFAGASTA: Chilean copper miner Antofagasta lowered its full-year spending budget while reporting a 2.3 percent rise in first-half core profit helped by cost cuts.

* UNILEVER: Unilever plans to buy Sweden’s Blueair, stepping into the air purification business, the company said on Tuesday.

* WOOD GROUP: Oilfield services company John Wood Group Plc reported a 26.3 percent fall in first-half core earnings, hurt by weak demand from oil and gas producers.

* VODAFONE: Spark New Zealand said on Tuesday it was formally opposing a merger between Sky Network Television Ltd and Vodafone Plc’s New Zealand unit, stating that Sky’s monopoly on premium sports content rights in New Zealand is a key concern.

* CAIRN: Oil exploration company Cairn Energy Plc raised its best estimate of reserves at its oilfields off the coast of Senegal by almost a third on Tuesday, following successful appraisal of the SNE-4 test well earlier this year.

* EU SPECTRUM LICENCE: The European Commission is to propose that telecom spectrum licences are granted for a minimum of 25 years to increase investment certainty for operators, under a reform of the bloc’s telecoms rules, according to an EU document seen by Reuters.

* BP: BP Plc is reportedly delaying planned U.S. Atlantis Field work in the Gulf of Mexico to early September from August, according to a trader at a U.S. bank who cited a Bloomberg report.

* MEARS: British outsourcing company Mears Group Plc said its care division was expected to be close to breakeven this year, as it booked a one-off cost related to scaling back its presence in the challenging market.

* OIL: Oil prices edged away from 5-week highs on Tuesday, with traders cashing in on a 16-percent rally since early August that has largely been fuelled by talk of producers taking action to prop up the market.

* GOLD: Spot gold was up about 0.6 percent at $1,346.31 an ounce at 0348 GMT. The metal rose 0.2 percent on Monday.

* COPPER: London Metal Exchange copper traded flat at $4,768.50 a tonne by 0117 GMT, having closed a tad firmer on Monday. The metal touched a one-month low of $4,750.50 on Friday.

* For more on the factors affecting European stocks, please click on: cpurl://apps.cp./cms/?pageId=livemarkets


> Financial Times

> Other business headlines Multimedia versions of Reuters Top News are now available for: * 3000 Xtra : visit * For Top News : (Reporting by Sanjeeban Sarkar in Bengaluru; Editing by Sunil Nair)