March 3, 2020 / 8:02 AM / a month ago

UPDATE 1-UK Stocks-Factors to watch on March 3

(Adds company news items)

March 3 - Britain’s FTSE 100 index is seen opening 67 points higher at 6,722 on Tuesday, according to financial bookmakers.

* ROBERT WALTERS: British recruiting firm Robert Walters’ annual pretax profit fell 3%, hurt by a hiring squeeze in a year hit by economic uncertainty due to Brexit and the Sino-U.S. trade war.

* DIRECT LINE: British insurer Direct Line said on Tuesday the coronavirus outbreak could hurt results for its travel business this year, as it reported a fall in 2019 profit in the face of steep claims and strong competition on pricing from smaller rivals.

* FRESNILLO: Precious metals miner Fresnillo on Tuesday posted a 63% slump in 2019 pretax profit, as low-grade ore hit production and it curtailed operations at its Noche Buena mine in Mexico.

* INTERTEK: British product quality testing firm Intertek said on Tuesday the outbreak of the coronavirus would hurt its 2020 performance as its supply chains in China were disrupted, but added that it was too early to quantify the impact.

* CMC MARKETS: Online trading platform CMC Markets on Tuesday predicted that its fiscal-year income would beat market forecasts, amid high customer trading activity because of the coronavirus scare.

* GREGGS: British baker Greggs said on Tuesday it made a very strong start to 2020 in January but saw a significant slowdown in February due to widespread storms that kept shoppers away, taking the shine off a stellar 2019.

* TRAVIS PERKINS: Travis Perkins on Tuesday reported a 7.8% rise in adjusted operating profit for 2019, as the building materials distributor benefited from growth in its home improvement unit.

* OIL: Oil prices rose for a second day on expectations that central banks are likely to enact financial stimulus to offset the impacts of the coronavirus outbreak and growing optimism that OPEC will order deeper output cuts this week.

* London-listed shares bounced back in choppy Monday trade from their worst week since the global financial crisis, as investors bet on further monetary stimulus from central banks to limit the economic impact of the coronavirus epidemic.

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

TODAY’S UK PAPERS

> Financial Times

> Other business headlines (Reporting by Indranil Sarkar and Samantha Machado in Bengaluru; Editing by Vinay Dwivedi)

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