January 4, 2018 / 7:53 AM / a year ago

UPDATE 1-UK Stocks-Factors to watch on Jan 4

 (Adds company news items, futures)
    Jan 4 (Reuters) - Britain's FTSE 100         index is seen opening 13 points
firmer at 7,684.4 on Thursday, according to financial bookmakers, with futures
        up 0.2 percent ahead of the cash market open.
    * WHITBREAD: Whitbread        , owner of Costa Coffee and Premier Inn, on
Thursday named Adam Crozier as Chairman to replace Richard Baker, who will be
retiring at the end of February.             
    * SAGA:  Saga SAGAG.L has restructured its travel business, after the
tourism and insurance group for the over 50s said last month that the failure of
Monarch Airlines had hit its tour operations.             
    * ROTORK: British industrial group Rotork         named Kevin Hostetler as
its chief executive on Thursday, in place of Peter France who resigned in July
last year.             
    * BHP: Vale SA            is in talks with BHP Billiton Ltd         over the
future of their joint venture, Samarco Mineração SA, and one alternative is for
the Brazilian miner to buy out its partner, a source with knowledge of the
matter said.              
    * GOLD: Prices fell on Thursday after hitting a 3-1/2-month high the session
before, pulled down as investors took profits and as the U.S. dollar firmed.
    * OIL: Oil prices on Thursday hit fresh two-and-a-half year highs and were
at levels last seen at the start of the commodity slump in 2014/2015, with
markets tightening amid tensions in Iran and due to ongoing OPEC-led production
    * EX-DIVS: British Land Compay         , Experian          and Next Plc
        will trade without entitlement to their latest dividend pay-out on
Thursday, trimming 0.84 points off the FTSE 100 according to Reuters
    * The UK blue chip index closed 0.4 percent higher on Thursday as oil majors
jumped higher and the U.S. dollar gained back ground against sterling, helping
UK-listed dollar earners.             
    * For more on the factors affecting European stocks, please click on: cpurl://apps.cp./cms/?pageId=livemarkets
    > Financial Times                                
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 (Reporting by Hanna Paul in Bengaluru)
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