August 3, 2017 / 7:04 AM / a year ago

UPDATE 1-UK Stocks-Factors to watch on Aug 3

(Adds company news, futures)

Aug 3 (Reuters) - Britain’s FTSE 100 futures were up 0.05 percent ahead of the cash market open on Thursday.

* CONVATEC: British medical technology company ConvaTec on Thursday reported a 7.4 percent fall in operating profit for the first half of the year, as increased expenses offset higher sales and margins.

* SERCO: British outsourcing group Serco said a better-than-expected outlook for its bid pipeline kept it on track to meet profit and revenue guidance this year despite several of its markets turning markedly more unpredictable.

* INMARSAT: British satellite company Inmarsat said it was on track to meet its full-year revenue targets despite markets proving challenging and the general industry outlook difficult to predict.

* MONDI: Packaging and paper company Mondi’s half-year underlying profit fell 6 percent after the valuation of its forestry assets in South Africa rose less than the year before and due to the impact of mill maintenance shutdowns, it said on Thursday.

* AVIVA: Life and general insurer Aviva posted an 11 percent rise in operating profit in the first half of 2017 to 1.47 billion pounds ($1.94 billion), it said on Thursday, boosted by strong performances in its general insurance and fund management units.

* ESURE GROUP: British insurer esure Group Plc reported a surge in first-half pretax profit, driven by an increase in demand for its motor insurance products and rising insurance prices.

* COBHAM: Cobham, the struggling British aerospace and defence electronics company, said on Thursday it was reviewing the future of its wireless business, which accounts for 10 percent of revenue, in the next stage of its turnaround plan.

* NEXT: British clothing retailer Next on Thursday reported a return to quarterly sales growth, driven by a strong performance from its Directory catalogue and internet business.

* RANDGOLD: Randgold on Thursday reported a 53 percent rise in half-year profit and said its cash pile rose 11 percent to $572.8 million despite the payment of the 2016 dividend of $94 million.

* LONDON STOCK EXCHANGE: London Stock Exchange Group Plc reported a 19.5 percent rise in first-half adjusted operating profit, helped by a strong performance in its clearing and FTSE Russell indexes businesses.

* BOE: The Bank of England looks set to keep interest rates at a record low once again on Thursday with investors looking for signs that, faced with Brexit, it is getting nearer to raising rates for the first time in a decade.

* COPPER: Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange CMCU3 was mostly flat at round $6,354.50 a tonne.

* GOLD/DEMAND: Global demand for gold fell 14 percent in the first half of this year due mainly to a sharp decline in purchases by exchange traded funds, the World Gold Council said in a report on Thursday.

* OIL: Oil dipped on Thursday as a rally that has pushed up prices by almost 10 percent since early last week lost momentum despite renewed signs of a gradually tightening U.S. market. Brent crude futures, the international benchmark for oil prices, were trading down 20 cents, or 0.4 percent, at $52.16 per barrel at 0506 GMT.

* EX-DIVS: Unilever, RELX and Micro Focus will go ex-dividend on Thursday, 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 2.35 points off the index.

* Britain’s major share index slipped on Wednesday as basic resources and financial stocks weighed on another full day of earnings with Standard Chartered and Rio Tinto among the large companies reporting disappointing results. The FTSE 100 dipped 0.3 percent after two robust sessions of gains, dragged down by heavyweight miners Rio Tinto and Glencore, with financials the biggest sector weight.

* 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 Sanjeeban Sarkar in Bengaluru)

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