February 15, 2019 / 7:54 AM / 3 months ago

UPDATE 1-UK Stocks-Factors to watch on Feb 15

(Adds company news items and futures)

Feb 15 (Reuters) - Britain’s FTSE 100 index is seen opening flat at 7,197 on Friday, according to financial bookmakers, while FTSE 100 futures were down 0.36 percent ahead of the cash market open.

* RBS: Britain’s Royal Bank of Scotland unveiled a better-than-expected dividend for long-suffering investors after its profit more than doubled in 2018, but the lender warned Brexit would make it harder to achieve its cost-cutting goals.

* PATISSERIE HOLDINGS: Collapsed UK cafe operator Patisserie Holdings said on Friday it had sold its Baker & Spice business to rival chain Department of Coffee & Social Affairs for 2.5 million pounds ($3.20 million), a day after the company sealed deals for its other two main businesses.

* PREMIER FOODS: Mr Kipling cakes maker Premier Foods Plc said it has dropped plans to sell its dessert brand Ambrosia brand, citing a difficult business climate that could have dented the deal value.

* MILLENNIUM & COPTHORNE: Millennium & Copthorne Hotels said uncertainty around Brexit had hurt its operations as it was finding it difficult to hire workers from the European Union for its London properties, where they currently account for half of the workforce.

* SEGRO: Segro Plc will issue new shares to raise about 450 million pounds ($576.45 million) for investment in a pipeline of UK and European projects, the developer and manager of warehouses and industrial properties said on Friday.

* BREXIT: British Prime Minister Theresa May was defeated in a symbolic vote in parliament on her Brexit strategy on Thursday, undermining her negotiating strength in talks with the European Union to secure changes to the agreement.

* GOLD: Gold traded in a tight $3 range on Friday as concerns over an economic slowdown supported prices for the safe-haven metal and a firm dollar kept a lid on gains.

* OIL: Brent crude oil prices hit 2019 highs above $65 per barrel on Friday, spurred by U.S. sanctions against Venezuela and Iran as well as OPEC-led supply cuts.

* The UK blue-chip index closed 0.1 percent higher on Thursday, aided by earnings-driven gains in AstraZeneca and Micro Focus, while medical device maker ConvaTec single-handedly contributed to nearly one-third of the midcap index’s dip.

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

TODAY’S UK PAPERS

> Financial Times

> Other business headlines

* 3000 Xtra : visit topnews.session.rservices.com

* For Top News : topnews.reuters.com (Reporting by Samantha Machado in Bengaluru; Editing by Arun Koyyur)

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