May 19, 2016 / 6:36 AM / 2 years ago

UPDATE 1-UK Stocks-Factors to watch on May 19

(Adds futures, National Grid, Royal Mail, Thomas Cook, Hargreaves Lansdown, 3I)

May 19 (Reuters) - Britain’s FTSE 100 index is seen opening down 60 points, or nearly 1 percent, on Thursday, according to financial bookmakers, with futures down 0.7 percent ahead of the cash market open. For more on the factors affecting European stocks, please click on

* The UK blue chip index on Wednesday ended flat in percentage terms at its close at 6,165.80 points, as luxury goods firm Burberry fell after a slump in its profits and miners tracked weaker metals prices.

* NATIONAL GRID: Britain’s National Grid Plc said its full-year pretax profit rose 15 percent, aided by strong growth in its interconnectors and property businesses.

* ROYAL MAIL: Britain’s Royal Mail Plc reported a better-than-expected profit for the financial year, as tight cost controls more than made up for losses due to high competition in the UK postal market.

* THOMAS COOK: British holiday company Thomas Cook said its summer bookings were down 5 percent as tourists shunned Turkey, its second-most popular destination last year, leading to a lower forecast for full-year earnings.

* 3I GROUP: British private equity firm 3i Group Plc said its net asset value rose to £4.5 billion ($6.56 billion) in its annual results on Thursday, warning market volatility and Britain’s referendum on the European Union would weigh on sentiment.

* HARGREAVES LANSDOWN: British fund supermarket Hargreaves Lansdown bucked weak market sentiment to post a 2.6 percent rise in total assets under administration in the four months to end-April as more clients signed up to its Vantage investing platform.

* ANTOFAGASTA: Antofagasta said on Wednesday it had signed an accord with a community that has long-opposed the tailings dam at its Los Pelambres flagship copper mine in Chile to bring their protests to an end, but not all the protesters said they were on board.

* DIRECTORS’ PAY: Shareholders of two London-listed companies approved their directors’ pay on Wednesday, rejecting the recommendations of influential advisors in a sign that dissatisfaction over high salaries has yet to result in widespread change.

* UK’s REFORM AGENDA: Queen Elizabeth unveiled plans by British Prime Minister David Cameron on Wednesday to overhaul prisons and help the poor under a social reform agenda he hopes to press after a referendum on European Union membership.

* BREXIT: The campaign to keep Britain in the European Union has taken an 18 percentage point lead over the “Out” campaign ahead of a June 23 referendum, its widest in three months, a telephone opinion poll by Ipsos MORI showed on Wednesday.

* OIL: Oil prices fell on Thursday, pulled down by rising U.S. crude inventories, a stronger dollar and surging output from Iran to Europe and Asia.

* GOLD: Gold was trading near a three-week low on Thursday after minutes from a Federal Reserve policy meeting signalled the U.S. central bank could raise rates as soon as next month, boosting the dollar.

* EX-DIVS: Bunzl, HSBC Holdings, Imperial Brands, Intertek Group, Provident Financial, Royal Dutch Shell A and B will trade without entitlement to their latest dividend pay-out on Thursday, trimming 17.27 points off the FTSE 100 according to Reuters calculations.


> Financial Times

> Other business headlines (Reporting by Aastha Agnihotri in Bengaluru)

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