September 5, 2019 / 7:01 AM / 11 days ago

UPDATE 1-UK Stocks-Factors to watch on Sept. 5

(Adds futures, news items)

Sept 5 (Reuters) - Britain’s FTSE 100 index is seen opening 26 points higher at 7,337 on Thursday, according to financial bookmakers, with futures up 0.5% ahead of the cash market open.

* GO-AHEAD: UK transport company Go-Ahead Group Plc reported a lower annual pretax profit as earnings at its rail division halved, hit by the loss of the London Midland franchise.

* WILLIAM HILL: William Hill Plc said Philip Bowcock will step down as chief executive officer at the end of September after three years at the helm.

* MELROSE INDUSTRIES: Melrose Industries Plc warned that weakness in the global automotive market would persist in the second half of the year, but the turnaround specialist said it was confident of trading in line with its expectations this year.

* ENQUEST: North Sea focused oil firm EnQuest is chipping away at its debt pile, which was at around $1.6 billion at the end of June, it said, reiterating its output guidance of between 63,000 and 70,000 barrels per day this year.

* DIXONS CARPHONE: Dixons Carphone reported another big fall in mobile phone sales in its latest quarter, though it maintained its financial guidance for the full 2019-20 year.

* BOOHOO: British online fashion retailer Boohoo said it was trading ahead of expectations and now expected its full-year revenue to rise between 33% and 38%, ahead of its previous 25% to 30% guidance, which would deliver a corresponding rise in earnings.

* BREXIT: British Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s government abandoned attempts in the upper house of parliament to block a law aimed at stopping the country from leaving the European Union without a deal.

* BREXIT: The British parliament voted on Wednesday to prevent Prime Minister Boris Johnson taking Britain out of the European Union without a deal on Oct. 31, but rejected his first bid to call a snap election two weeks before the scheduled exit.

* HONG KONG: Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam on Wednesday withdrew an extradition bill that triggered months of often violent protests so the Chinese-ruled city can move forward from a “highly vulnerable and dangerous” place and find solutions.

* RYANAIR: Ryanair members of the British Airline Pilots Association (BALPA) announced a further seven days of strikes on Wednesday as their latest walkout comes to an end, having caused little disruption for the low-cost airline.

* M&S, DIRECT LINE: Marks & Spencer, Direct Line and Micro Focus will be relegated from London’s FTSE 100 index from Sept. 23 following the latest quarterly review and precious metals mining firm Polymetal , generic drugmaker Hikma and aerospace and defence group Meggitt will replace them, the index operator FTSE Russell said on Wednesday.

* CYBG: CYBG said it expected to increase its provisions for legacy costs to settle a final compensation bill for mis-selling payment protection insurance after a last-minute surge in customer claims by between 300 million pounds and 450 million pounds.

* SHELL: A U.S. judge on Wednesday rejected Exxon Mobil Corp’s and Royal Dutch Shell Plc’s effort to revive a $1.8 billion arbitration award against Nigeria’s state-run oil company, which stemmed from a dispute over a 1993 contract to extract oil near the African country’s coastline.

* UK MANUFACTURING: British manufacturing is locked in a nosedive as orders and investment dry up due to the global slowdown and the Brexit crisis, a survey from trade body Make UK showed on Thursday, adding to signs of a worsening economic outlook.

* BoE: A worst-case no-deal Brexit would inflict less severe damage on Britain’s economy than previously thought because of preparations undertaken since the end of last year, Bank of England Governor Mark Carney said on Wednesday.

* UK SPEND: British finance minister Sajid Javid said he was “turning the page on austerity” as he promised the biggest spending increases in 15 years, a move widely seen as part of Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s push for an election to break the Brexit impasse.

* COPPER: Shanghai copper jumped to a more than one-month high, while London copper hit its highest in over two weeks after China and the United States agreed to hold trade talks.

* GOLD: Gold prices dropped as risk-on sentiment got a boost after China and the United States agreed to hold talks to end their protracted trade dispute.

* OIL: Oil prices eased on Thursday after a report showed U.S. crude inventories rose against expectations, even as Washington and Beijing confirmed they would hold ministerial level talks to try resolve a prolonged trade war.

* EX-DIVS: Admiral Group, Antofagasta Plc, BHP Group , CRH Plc, Flutter Entertainment, Glencore Plc , Land Securities, Micro Focus and RSA Insurance Group will trade without entitlement to its latest dividend pay-out on Thursday, trimming 11.6 points off the FTSE 100 according to Reuters calculations.

* Domestically focussed British stocks advanced on Wednesday after parliament succeeded in taking steps toward averting a no-deal Brexit, while Asia-facing banks gained on hopes that protests in Hong Kong would end, leading the FTSE 100 higher. The UK blue chip index closed 0.6% higher at 7,311.3.

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

TODAY’S UK PAPERS

> Financial Times

> Other business headlines (Reporting by Noor Zainab Hussain and Shanima A in Bengaluru)

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