July 28, 2016 / 6:59 AM / 2 years ago

UPDATE 1-UK Stocks-Factors to watch on July 28

(Adds company news, futures)

July 28 (Reuters) - Britain’s FTSE 100 index is seen opening flat, according to financial bookmakers. Futures were marginally lower at 0650 GMT, ahead of the cash market open.

* The UK blue chip index closed 0.4 percent higher on Wednesday at 6,750.43 points, climbing to its highest closing level in nearly a year, with housebuilders among the top performers, while mid-cap stocks touched their best level since last month’s shock “Brexit” vote.

* SABMILLER/AB INBEV: SABMiller has asked employees to pause the process of integrating its operations with those of Anheuser-Busch InBev as the brewer’s board weighs its sweetened takeover offer, according to sources familiar with the matter.

* BHP BILLITON: BHP Billiton will book a charge of up to $1.3 billion to cover the costs of a dam disaster last November at the Samarco iron ore mine in Brazil, putting it on course to report its worst ever annual loss.

* CENTRICA: Centrica, Britain’s largest energy supplier, lost 399,000 customers in the first half of the year, contributing to a 13 percent dip in revenue, the company said on Thursday.

* THOMAS COOK: Travel company Thomas Cook cut its full-year profit target on Thursday as the Brexit-induced collapse in the pound, attacks in Europe and a failed coup in Turkey forced customers to cancel holidays.

* ASTRAZENECA: Generic competition to cholesterol fighter Crestor in the key U.S. market hit second-quarter earnings at drugmaker AstraZeneca, which is now banking on new cancer medicines to revive its fortunes.

* LLOYDS: Lloyds Banking Group said on Thursday it would accelerate its cost cutting plan to help offset a more testing economic environment and a likely drop in demand for credit caused by Britain’s vote to quit the European Union.

* BAE SYSTEMS: BAE Systems, the world’s third-largest defence contractor by revenue, reported slightly higher half-year earnings and said it was on track to meet its forecast for 2016 earnings to rise by between 5 percent and 10 percent.

* BT: Britain’s biggest telecoms group BT reiterated its outlook for the full-year after strong demand for broadband helped it to report better-than-expected first-quarter core earnings.

* COUNTRYWIDE: Countrywide Plc CWD.L, the UK’s biggest lettings and estate agency company, warned on full-year core earnings on Thursday, saying that commercial and London residential transactions had stalled after Britain voted to leave the European Union.

* BRITISH AMERICAN TOBACCO: British American Tobacco reported higher half-year sales compared with the previous six months on Thursday, helped by volume increases.

* SHELL: Royal Dutch Shell reported a more than 70 percent fall in quarterly profits on Thursday, well below analyst estimates, as weak oil and gas prices further ate into revenue.

* SKY: European pay-TV group Sky reported a 12 percent rise in full-year adjusted operating profit on Thursday, just ahead of forecasts, in what it said was another excellent year for the group.

* ANGLO AMERICAN: Miner Anglo American cut its net debt to $11.7 billion by the end of June from $12.9 billion at the end of December, it said on Thursday.

* SMITH & NEPHEW: Smith & Nephew, Europe’s biggest maker of artificial knees and hips, reported a 2 percent rise in second-quarter revenue on Thursday, helped by good growth in its sports medicine joint repair business.

* WEIR: Pipe and valve maker Weir Group Plc said Chief Executive Keith Cochrane would step down, and reported a 25 percent fall in first-half pretax profit as oil and gas companies cut spending to counter weak commodity prices.

* RANDGOLD: Randgold Resources’ Loulo-Gounkoto gold mining complex in Mali is currently on track to beat its 2016 production guidance, CEO Mark Bristow told reporters late on Wednesday.

* STANDARD CHARTERED: Standard Chartered has named former deputy governor of the Bank of Spain Jose Vinals as its new chairman, ending a 16-month search for a new leader to oversee a sweeping turnaround plan being undertaken by its new CEO.

* UK CAR OUTPUT: British car production rose 10 percent year-on-year in June, according to figures released on Thursday, but manufacturers said growth was in jeopardy if Britain failed to secure unfettered access to the European single market.

* BREXIT: Shockwaves from Britain’s vote to leave the European Union are reverberating through the economy with surveys published on Thursday showing a sharp dive in consumer confidence and a slowdown in the construction sector.

* OIL: Oil prices recovered slightly from April lows in early trading on Thursday, but the outlook for the industry remained weak as crude producers and fuel refiners continue to pump out more than the market can consume.

* EX-DIVS: SSE Plc will trade without entitlement to their latest dividend pay-out on Thursday, trimming 2.42 points off the FTSE 100, according to Reuters calculations.

* 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 topnews.session.rservices.com * For Top News : topnews.reuters.com (Reporting by Pranav Kiran in Bengaluru; Editing by Sunil Nair)

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