August 15, 2018 / 6:59 AM / 3 months ago

UPDATE 1-UK Stocks-Factors to watch on Aug. 15

(Adds company news and futures)

Aug 15 (Reuters) - Britain’s FTSE 100 index is seen opening 17 points higher at 7,629 on Wednesday, according to financial bookmakers with futures up 0.09 percent ahead of the cash market open.

* BALFOUR BEATTY: Construction company Balfour Beatty Plc reported on Wednesday a 69 percent jump in underlying operating profit as its measures to cut costs and boost margins paid off.

* HIKMA: London-listed Jordanian group Hikma Pharmaceuticals raised the full-year revenue forecast at its top two businesses, as it sold more injectable opioids in the United States amid a supply shortage, and had a better-than-expected performance in generics.

* ADMIRAL: Admiral posted a 9 percent rise in first-half pre-tax profit on Wednesday, helped by demand for its insurance products.

* LOOKERS: Car dealership firm Lookers posted on Wednesday a 14 percent decline in first-half adjusted pre-tax profit to 43.1 million pounds ($55 million) as British new vehicle sales fell compared to a record period last year.

* GSK: A long-acting injection developed by GlaxoSmithKline and given once a month has proved as effective as standard daily pills for controlling the AIDS virus, lifting prospects for the British drugmaker’s key HIV business.

* RBS: Royal Bank of Scotland will pay $4.9 billion to settle U.S. claims that it misled investors on residential mortgage-backed securities between 2005 and 2008, the U.S. Justice Department said on Tuesday, adding this was the largest penalty imposed on a bank for misconduct during the financial crisis.

* SPORTS DIRECT: Workers at a key warehouse that supplies to House of Fraser are refusing to work over delivery payment terms with Mike Ashley's Sports Direct International Plc, The Times reported late on Tuesday. (bit.ly/2PaoR30)

* RYANAIR: German union Verdi will meet Ryanair in Dublin on Wednesday to start pay talks for around 1,000 cabin crew working in Germany for Europe’s largest low-cost airline, it said.

* BT/INFORMA: BT has approached Informa chief executive Stephen Carter as a possible replacement for Gavin Patterson and is keen to announce a new CEO by the end of October, Sky News reported late on Tuesday.

* BHP: The union for Chile’s Escondida mine, the world’s largest copper mine operated by BHP, said on Tuesday it was closer to a contract agreement and would extend talks another day with the company in hopes of averting a planned strike, though health benefits and some other sticking points must be ironed out before a deal can be reached.

* The UK blue chip index closed down 0.4 percent at 7,611.64 points on Tuesday after a choppy session, weighed down notably by lower copper prices as fallout from the Turkish lira crisis that has rattled global markets since Friday eased.

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

TODAY’S UK PAPERS

> Financial Times

> Other business headlines Multimedia versions of Reuters Top News are now available for: * For Top News : topnews.reuters.com (Reporting by Justin George Varghese)

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