March 12, 2020 / 7:59 AM / 23 days ago

UPDATE 1-UK Stocks-Factors to watch on March 12

(Adds futures, news items)

March 12 - Britain’s FTSE 100 index is seen opening down 347 points on Thursday, according to financial bookmakers, with futures down 6% ahead of the cash market open.

* CORONAVIRUS: British finance minister Rishi Sunak said that Britain did not see the need for a U.S-style flying ban as part of its response to the spread of coronavirus.

* TESCO: Britain’s biggest supermarket Tesco does not expect to see anything more than short-term shortages of certain products as customers stockpile over coronavirus, its chairman said.

* BERKELEY GROUP: British housebuilder Berkeley Group said it would delay its plan to increase shareholder returns until there was more clarity on the impact of the coronavirus outbreak on the UK economy.

* GALLIFORD TRY: Construction company Galliford Try plc overstated its revenues in 2018 and its accounts have been restated, Britain’s audit watchdog said.

* INTU: UK shopping mall operator Intu Properties flagged doubts over its ability to continue as a going concern and reported a bigger annual loss as real estate valuations declined against a tough retail backdrop.

* JUST GROUP: Specialist pension provider Just Group posted a fall in 2019 profit due to a tough operating environment and did not declare a dividend for the year.

* TULLOW OIL: Africa-focused Tullow Oil expects its free cash flow to slide to $50 million to $75 million this year at an oil price of $50 a barrel, and to break even at prices of $45 a barrel, it said.

* WH SMITH: British retailer WH Smith said the impact of coronavirus on its stores in airports, stations and the high street could hit its full-year underlying profit by between 30 million and 40 million pounds ($38-51 million).

* GO-AHEAD: British transport company Go-Ahead Group warned that coronavirus is likely to impact travel patterns, without saying how, as it guided that annual profit would be slightly lower than expected, hit by bad weather in recent weeks.

* SAVILLS: Real estate adviser Savills Plc reported a rise in full-year profit, as a late pick-up in its UK business following the general elections helped offset weakness due to Brexit and political unrest in Hong Kong.

* TRAVEL CURB: U.S. President Donald Trump on Wednesday ordered travel from Europe to the United States restricted for 30 days, responding to mounting pressure to take action against a rapidly spreading coronavirus outbreak disrupting nearly all corners of U.S. daily life.

* RIO TINTO: Rio Tinto Ltd, will pay out part of a delayed bonus to former Chief Executive Sam Walsh after a dispute resolution process found that the payments should not be held up, both parties said on Thursday.

* EUROPEAN BANKS: Europe’s banks have called on European Union authorities to ease capital rules and other regulatory barriers to helping businesses struggling because of the coronavirus epidemic.

* OIL: Oil prices fell for the second straight day on Thursday amid a broad decline in global markets after the United States banned travel from Europe following the World Health Organization’s decision to declare the coronavirus outbreak a pandemic.

* GOLD: Gold inched up on Thursday on worries about the economic impact of the coronavirus outbreak as the United States suspended travel from virus-hit Europe, although gains were capped as traders covered margin calls after a plunge in equities.

* EX-DIVS: Anglo American, CRH and Land Securities will trade without entitlement to its latest dividend payout on Thursday, trimming 3.8 points off the FTSE 100 according to Reuters calculations.

* The UK blue-chip index closed down 1.6% on Wednesday as investors doubted whether a Bank of England rate cut and a 30 billion-pound ($39 billion) economic stimulus plan would be enough to counter the shock from the coronavirus outbreak.

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

TODAY’S UK PAPERS

> Financial Times

> Other business headlines (Reporting by Aniruddha Ghosh and Shanima A in Bengaluru; Editing by Shailesh Kuber)

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