February 12, 2020 / 7:43 AM / 13 days ago

UPDATE 1-UK Stocks-Factors to watch on Feb. 12

(Adds futures, news items)

Feb 12 (Reuters) - Britain’s FTSE 100 index is seen opening 13 points higher on Wednesday, according to financial bookmakers, with futures up 0.2% ahead of the cash market open.

* DUNELM: British home furnishings retailer Dunelm forecast full-year pretax profit slightly above market expectations, saying its third quarter had started well, with successful winter sales across all areas of the business.

* BABCOCK: Babcock International nudged down its guidance for annual underlying operating profit and wrote down the value of its oil and gas transportation business in the latest blow to the British engineer.

* DRI HEALTHCARE: DRI Healthcare, an investment company investing in healthcare royalty assets, said it is aiming to sell up to $350 million of shares in a planned initial public offering in London.

* PLUS500: Online trading platform Plus500 Ltd reported a plunge in 2019 profits, but said trading volumes rose with market volatility in the second half.

* RUSAGRO: Russian farming conglomerate Rusagro said the cost of exporting Russian sugar remained high due to lack of investments in port logistics.

* OFCOM: Britain’s regulator Ofcom will make social media companies such as Facebook and Twitter, responsible for harmful content on their platforms, the BBC said.

* ROLLS-ROYCE: Rolls-Royce is “open-minded” on whether it will join Boeing in a fresh attempt at addressing the mid-size jet market after pulling out of an earlier effort over timing, a top company official said.

* INSURANCE SECTOR: Complaints about loan insurance ballooned in the final quarter of 2019, spurred on by British regulators setting an end of August deadline for compensation claims, the Financial Ombudsman Service said.

* OFGEM: British energy companies will from May 1 be forced to pay automatic compensation to customers facing problems when switching supplier, regulator Ofgem said.

* BOE: Bank of England Governor Mark Carney gave his backing for government borrowing to fund infrastructure investment on Tuesday, shortly after Prime Minister Boris Johnson approved a major new rail link between London and northern England.

* GOLD: Gold prices edged lower as new coronavirus cases fell and risk appetite improved, although uncertainty over the economic impact of the outbreak still underpinned bullion.

* OIL: Oil prices climbed as China reported its lowest daily number of new coronavirus cases since late January, stoking investor hopes that fuel demand in the world’s second-largest oil consumer may begin to recover from the epidemic.

* UK shares rebounded on Tuesday from two sessions of losses after China’s senior medical adviser suggested the coronavirus epidemic may be over by April and U.S. Federal Reserve chief Jerome Powell touted resilience in the American economy.

TODAY’S UK PAPERS

> Financial Times

> Other business headlines (Reporting by Shanima A in Bengaluru; Editing by Arun Koyyur)

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