March 15, 2019 / 8:04 AM / 7 days ago

UPDATE 1-UK Stocks-Factors to watch on March 15

(Adds company news items and futures)

March 15 (Reuters) - Britain’s FTSE 100 is seen opening 15 points higher at 7,200 on Friday, according to financial bookmakers, while FTSE 100 futures were up 0.15 percent ahead of the cash market open.

* PageGroup: British recruitment company PageGroup said its chief executive Steve Ingham had badly hurt his back in a skiing accident, putting him out of action for a number of weeks.

* SThree: Recruiter SThree Plc posted a 9 percent rise in first-quarter gross profit on Friday as strong hiring in international markets offset weakness in Britain.

* JD Wetherspoon: British pubs group JD Wetherspoon Plc posted an 18.9 percent fall in first-half pretax profit on Friday as it battles high labour costs.

* WPP: Martin Sorrell will earn 2.13 million pounds from the WPP long-term incentive plan this year after the marketing and communications group said it would not challenge his right to benefit from the scheme, the Financial Times reported on Thursday.

* Royal Dutch Shell: Royal Dutch Shell said on Thursday it planned to reduce carbon emissions from its oil and gas operations and product sales by 2 percent to 3 percent during the 2016-2021 period, the first time the company has issued carbon footprint targets.

* Lloyds: A long-awaited probe into what Lloyds Banking Group executives knew about one of Britain’s worst-ever banking frauds is now not likely to be completed until next year, a source with knowledge of the review said.

* Aston Martin: The total remuneration for the boss of luxury carmaker Aston Martin stood at 3 million pounds ($4 million) in 2018, according to the firm’s annual report.

* DEBENHAMS: Debenhams will consider a 150 million pound ($199 million) loan offer from dissident shareholder Sports Direct, it said on Thursday while indicating that Mike Ashley’s latest push for control of the struggling British department store group is unlikely to fly.

* GOLD: Gold prices edged down on Friday after slipping below the key $1,300 level in the previous session, pressured by improving appetite for risk as British lawmakers voted to seek a delay to the country’s exit from the European Union.

* OIL: Oil prices were firm on Friday amid production cuts led by OPEC and as U.S. sanctions against Venezuela and Iran likely created a slight deficit in global supply in the first quarter of 2019.

* The UK blue chip index closed 0.37 percent higher at 7185.43 on Thursday as financials cheered British lawmakers’ rejection of a disruptive no-deal Brexit and oil majors rose on higher crude prices, but mid-cap retirement services specialist Just Group slumped on plans to raise funds.

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

TODAY’S UK PAPERS

> Financial Times

> Other business headlines Multimedia versions of Reuters Top News are now available for: * 3000 Xtra : visit topnews.session.rservices.com * For Top News : topnews.reuters.com (Reporting by Adil Bhat in Bengaluru)

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