November 8, 2017 / 7:58 AM / a year ago

UPDATE 1-UK Stocks-Factors to watch on Nov 8

(Adds company news items and futures)

Nov 8 (Reuters) - Britain’s FTSE 100 index is seen opening down 7 points at 7,505.8 on Wednesday, according to financial bookmakers, with futures down 0.1 percent ahead of the cash market open.

* SSE: Britain’s SSE and npower, owned by Germany’s Innogy, announced plans on Wednesday to merge their British retail energy business in a deal that would create the country’s second largest supplier.

* MARKS & SPENCER: Britain’s Marks & Spencer said on Wednesday it would accelerate the pace of its turnaround plan as it reported a 5 percent fall in first-half profit, a second straight decline, hurt by sales falls and cost pressures.

* WIZZ AIR: Budget airline Wizz Air lifted its profit outlook on Wednesday after record results in the first half of the year, as the Eastern Europe-focussed carrier prospered in the face of difficulties among many of its rivals.

* SSE: British energy supplier SSE Plc, which has agreed to merge its UK retail energy supply businesses with Innogy IGY.DE owned npower, reported an 8 percent drop in its half-year profit, hurt by weakness in its networks business.

* ONESAVINGS BANK: OneSavings Bank reported a 17 percent higher underlying loan book for the first nine months, as it focused on bigger, professional landlords, as the broader market lost its appetite for amateur landlords due to tax and regulatory changes.

* TULLOW OIL: Tullow Oil Plc raised its production guidance on Wednesday, aided by higher output from its TEN and Jubilee fields in Ghana.

* JD WETHERSPOON: British pubs operator JD Wetherspoon said comparable sales growth nearly doubled in its first quarter from a year earlier, but remained cautious on outlook anticipating a trading outcome in line with expectations.

* ROLLS-ROYCE: The U.S. Justice Department unsealed charges on Tuesday against five individuals for their alleged role in a scheme to pay bribes to foreign government officials to benefit Rolls-Royce Holdings Plc and help secure a contract to provide services for a major gas pipeline from Central Asia to China.

* SKY: British broadcaster Sky has said that it could shut down Sky News if its ownership of the channel proves to be an obstruction to the company’s 11.7 billion-pound ($15.4 billion) takeover by Rupert Murdoch’s Twenty-First Century Fox.

* MARKS AND SPENCER: Marks and Spencer has engaged headhunters to identify new finance chief, Sky News reported on Tuesday.

* REVOLUT: British financial technology firm Revolut said on Wednesday it has applied for a European banking licence, as it bids to join a growing number of digital-only banks looking to win away customers from larger, traditional lenders.

* GOLD: Gold inched higher early on Wednesday, as the dollar slipped after a media report suggested that the implementation of a major corporate tax cut under a crucial U.S. tax reform plan could be delayed.

* OIL: Oil markets dipped on Wednesday as Chinese crude imports fell to their lowest level in a year, although traders said that overall markets remained well supported largely due to OPEC-lead supply cuts.

* The UK blue chip FTSE 100 index closed down 0.65 percent at 7,513.11 points on Tuesday, as sliding pound and buoyant oil prices failed to lift the mood in British shares as grim economic data and disappointing corporate earnings from G4S and Primark owner ABF weighed.

* For more on the factors affecting European stocks, please click on: cpurl://apps.cp./cms/?pageId=livemarkets


> Financial Times

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