December 30, 2019 / 7:44 AM / 20 days ago

UPDATE 1-UK Stocks-Factors to watch on Dec 30

(Adds company news items and updated futures)

Dec 30 (Reuters) - Britain’s FTSE 100 futures were down 0.07% ahead of the cash market open.

* ASTRAZENECA: AstraZeneca Plc and Merck & Co’s ovarian cancer drug, Lynparza, was approved by U.S. regulators for the treatment of advanced pancreatic cancer in patients with BRCA gene mutations, the British drugmaker said on Monday.

* RIO TINTO: The global miner said on Monday full operations at its South African unit Richard Bay Minerals will resume in early January after cutting back because of security concerns for its workers.

* VODAFONE: Vodafone’s broadband services joint venture with Hutchison Telecommunications (Australia) Ltd has partnered with Nokia to roll out 5G services in Australia, the companies said on Monday.

* DOMINO’S PIZZA: Domino’s Pizza Group said on Friday its Chief Financial Officer (CFO) David Bauernfeind had died in a snorkelling accident on Dec. 26 while on holiday, and an announcement about his successor would be made in due course.

* SMITH’S GROUP: Smiths Group Plc’s Chief Executive Andy Reynolds Smith will likely step down next year after a demerger of its medical unit, the Sunday Times reported.

* HONG KONG: Hong Kong will end 2019 with multiple protests planned for New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day aimed at disrupting festivities and shopping in the Asian financial hub, which has seen a rise in clashes between police and protesters since Christmas.

* OIL: Oil prices hovered around three-month highs on Monday following a higher-than-expected crude inventory drawdown and optimism over an expected U.S-China trade deal, while traders kept a close eye on Middle East unrest.

* GOLD: Gold prices rose to their highest in more than two months on Monday in thin year-end trading as the dollar dipped and U.S. military strikes in the Middle East drove investors towards the safe-haven metal.

* The UK blue-chip index closed up 0.2% on Friday, supported by a near 2% rise in Glencore and 1% rise in BP, as returning from their Christmas and Boxing Day break, traders hailed comments from Beijing and Washington that signalled official ratification of an initial trade deal was close.

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

TODAY’S UK PAPERS

> Financial Times

> Other business headlines (Reporting by Aniruddha Ghosh in Bengaluru)

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