February 26, 2014 / 7:00 AM / in 4 years

UK Stocks-Factors to watch on Feb. 26

LONDON, Feb 26 (Reuters) - Britain’s FTSE 100 index is seen opening flat on Wednesday, according to financial bookmakers.

* Futures for the FTSE 100 index were 0.3 percent lower by 0727 GMT.

* The UK blue chip index closed 0.5 percent weaker at 6,830.50 points on Tuesday.

* PETROFAC - British energy services firm Petrofac posted full-year profit ahead of forecasts and repeated a cautious outlook for the year ahead, expecting little or no growth as oil companies cut investment.

* ITV - Britain’s largest free-to-air broadcaster said it would pay a special dividend totalling 161 million pounds ($268 million) after posting a 21 percent rise in 2013 core earnings, spurred on by a rise in non-advertising revenues.

* ROYAL BANK OF SCOTLAND - The bank has received approval from Treasury agency UK Financial Investments to pay about 550 million pounds ($920 million) in staff bonuses for 2013, Sky News reported late on Tuesday.

* ASTRAZENECA - The drugmaker said late on Tuesday that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) had approved Myalept (metreleptin for injection).

* BARCLAYS - The bank said on Tuesday it has closed its power trading desks in London and New York, joining a string of global investment banks that are paring down their commodity market activities as increased regulations bite.

* DIAGEO, EASYJET - The two companies will go ex-dividend on Wednesday, after which investors will no longer qualify for the latest dividend payout. According to Reuters calculations at current market prices, the effect of the resulting adjustment to prices by market-makers would take 2.69 points off the index.

* Brent futures held above $109 a barrel, drawing support from data showing a steep fall in crude stockpiles at the delivery point for the U.S. benchmark, while weak U.S. economic indicators overnight kept any gains in check.

* Shanghai copper fell as much as 1 percent to a six-and-a-half-month low on Wednesday as renewed worries about credit curbs on China’s property developers fed into wider concerns about global demand, cutting buying interest in metals.


> Financial Times

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