March 2, 2017 / 7:43 AM / a year ago

UPDATE 2-UK Stocks-Factors to watch on March 2

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March 2 (Reuters) - Britain’s FTSE 100 futures were largely flat ahead of the cash market open on Thursday.

* MERLIN: Britain’s Merlin Entertainments, operator of tourist attractions such as Madame Tussauds waxworks and Legoland, on Tuesday reported a 3.4 percent rise in 2016 pre-tax profit and said it remained confident it could deliver a good year ahead.

* COBHAM: British engineer Cobham said it would raise 500 million pounds ($614 million) in a rights issue to put the company on a stronger footing after a “deeply disappointing” performance in 2016.

* TRAVIS PERKINS: Travis Perkins, Britain’s biggest supplier of building materials, reported a 1 percent fall in full-year core earnings, hurt by a weak performance in its plumbing and heating business, a division which is being reviewed.

* HASTINGS: British insurer Hastings Group Holdings Plc reported a 5 percent jump in full-year operating profit on Thursday, driven by as it increased customers and market share.

* GOCOMPARE: Price comparison website Gocompare.Com Group Plc reported a 30 percent jump in full-year operating profit, adjusting for the costs of listing and share-based payment charges.

* ALDERMORE: Aldermore Group Plc reported a 34 percent jump in full-year profit as the British bank issued more mortgages and loans to homeowners as well as small and medium enterprises.

* MELROSE: Engineering turnaround specialist Melrose Industries PLC’s full-year revenue more than tripled, helped in part by its acquisition on U.S. ventilation and home security products maker Nortek Industries.

* CAPITA: British outsourcing group Capita said its chief executive Andy Parker would step down after the group reported a 19 percent fall in 2016 underlying pre-tax profit, missing forecasts again.

* HSBC: Lawyers for the U.S. government and HSBC Holdings Plc on Wednesday urged a federal appeals court to block release of a court-appointed monitor’s report on how HSBC is working to improve its money laundering controls.

* JAGUAR LAND ROVER: Jaguar Land Rover Chief Executive Ralf Speth supported Nissan Motor Co's calls for additional funds for car-parts makers while saying there must be "fair play", for all UK automakers, Bloomberg reported on Wednesday.

* BP: BP agreed on Wednesday to buy Clean Energy Fuels Corp’s biomethane production assets for $155 million, expanding its huge gas supply portfolio in the United States and showing its shift to less carbon-intensive projects.

* EX-DIVS: Barclays and RSA will trade without entitlement to their latest dividend pay-out on Thursday, trimming 1.78 points off the FTSE 100, according to Reuters calculations.

* OIL: Crude oil fell for a third consecutive session on Thursday as a record build-up in U.S. stockpiles weighed on the market, with producers boosting shale oil production.

* BREXIT: Prime Minister Theresa May will seek to use her majority in parliament’s lower chamber to overturn a defeat her government suffered in the upper chamber on legislation allowing her to trigger Brexit, a government source said on Wednesday.

* BREXIT: Britain believes a post-Brexit free trade deal with the European Union would ease problems that its withdrawal from the EU will create on the Irish border, London’s Northern Ireland minister said on Wednesday.

* The UK blue chip index closed 1.6 percent higher at 7,382.90 points, its highest level ever on Wednesday, with commodities-related stocks tracking stronger metals, while banks gained on expectations of further hikes in U.S. interest rates.

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


> Financial Times

> Other business headlines Multimedia versions of Reuters Top News are now available for: * 3000 Xtra : visit * For Top News : (Reporting by Abhijith Ganapavaram in Bengaluru; Editing by Sunil Nair)

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