February 7, 2019 / 7:59 AM / 5 months ago

UPDATE 1-UK Stocks-Factors to watch on Feb 7

(Adds company news items and futures)

Feb 7 (Reuters) - Britain’s FTSE 100 index is seen opening 8 points lower at 7,165 on Thursday, according to financial bookmakers, with FTSE 100 futures down 0.23 percent ahead of the cash market open.

* Thomas Cook: Travel group Thomas Cook said on Thursday it was willing to sell its airline business to raise cash and help it recover from a rough 2018 and weaker demand in 2019.

* Bellway: British homebuilder Bellway Plc said it expects to sell more homes in fiscal 2019 than last year despite the Brexit uncertainties plaguing the market.

* SMITH & NEPHEW: British medical products maker Smith & Nephew fell short of analysts’ expectations for fourth-quarter revenue on Thursday, as growth in established markets including the United States slowed and the company was hurt by a stronger dollar.

* COMPASS: Compass Group Plc reported a 6.9 percent rise in organic revenue for the first quarter, driven by new wins including UK defence contracts and a positive sporting events calendar, the world’s biggest catering firm said on Thursday.

* BEAZLEY: Beazley Plc reported a slump in annual pretax profit as challenging market conditions hurt the Lloyd’s of London SOLYD.UL insurer, while hurricanes, typhoons and wildfires led to hefty catastrophe bills.

* BABCOCK: Britain’s Babcock aims to expand its foreign business but will not chase risky growth to resolve a “nightmare” period in which the engineering group’s management and stock price came under fire, Chief Executive Archie Bethel said on Wednesday.

* GLAXOSMITHKLINE: GlaxoSmithKline Plc forecast 2019 earnings above market expectations as sales of its new shingles vaccine boosted quarterly results, soothing concerns that Britain’s largest drugmaker was running out of blockbuster products.

* Equinor: Equinor on Wednesday reported a smaller-than-expected rise in fourth-quarter earnings and said output would be stagnant in 2019, sending the oil and gas company’s shares down despite a dividend increase and a brighter long-term outlook.

* GOLD: Gold fell to a more than one-week low on Thursday, pressured by a stronger dollar, but worries over slowing global economic growth and the spectre of another U.S. government shutdown kept the safe-haven metal above the key $1,300 level.

* OIL: Oil prices fell on Thursday after U.S. crude inventories rose and as production levels in the country held at record levels, but OPEC-led supply cuts and Washington’s sanctions against Venezuela supported markets.

* EX-DIVS: Sage Group will trade without entitlement to its latest dividend pay-out on Thursday, trimming 0.45 points off the FTSE 100 according to Reuters calculations.

* The UK blue chip index closed 0.06 percent up at 7,173.09 on Wednesday, ending a six-day winning streak, as international heavyweights were pressured by a stronger pound and Ocado slumped after a fire at its flagship distribution centre.

* For more on the factors affecting European stocks, please click on:

TODAY’S UK PAPERS

> 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 Adil Bhat in Bengaluru)

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