April 4, 2019 / 6:52 AM / 3 months ago

UPDATE 1-UK Stocks-Factors to watch on April 4

(Adds company news items and futures)

April 4 (Reuters) - Britain’s FTSE 100 index is seen opening 35 points lower at 7,384 on Thursday, according to financial bookmakers, while FTSE 100 futures were down 0.33 percent ahead of the cash market open.

* INTU: British shopping centre operator Intu Properties on Thursday appointed Finance Chief Matthew Roberts as its chief executive officer in place of David Fischel, who decided to step down after 18 years at the helm.

* MOTHERCARE: Baby products retailer Mothercare Plc said on Thursday that quarterly UK like-for-like sales fell 8 percent and it expects its British and some international market conditions to “remain challenging”.

* SAGA: Saga Plc on Thursday forecast lower annual underlying pretax profit and cut its dividend as the over-50s tourism and insurance firm struggles to keep up in a competitive motor and home insurance sector.

* HOMESERVE: British home repairs provider Homeserve Plc said on Thursday it expected full-year adjusted pretax profit to be at the upper end of market expectations and “significantly ahead” of last year as its U.S. customer base continues to grow.

* AQUIS EXCHANGE: Britain’s Financial Conduct Authority is expected to match a European Union share trading ban under a no-deal Brexit, the chief executive of Aquis Exchange said on Wednesday.

* BARCLAYS: Barclays said the head of its private bank in Europe, Middle East and Africa, Francesco Grosoli, has decided to leave the bank after 12 years, the latest senior departure from the lender following the exit of its investment bank chief last week.

* GOLD: Gold gained on Thursday, supported by an easing dollar as investors awaited progress on the ongoing Sino-U.S. trade negotiations after reports showed that both sides were nearing a deal.

* OIL: Oil prices were mixed on Thursday, with Brent edging higher towards the psychologically important $70 level after easing in the previous session on data showing a surprise build in U.S. inventories.

* EX-DIVS: DIRECT LINE, FERGUSON, HIKMA, LLOYDS BNK GRP, MELROSE IND, PEARSON, ST JAMESS PLACE , SMITH (DS), SMITHS GROUP, SMITH & NEPHEW and TAYLOR WIMPEY will trade without entitlement to their latest dividend pay-out on Thursday, trimming 11 points off the FTSE 100 according to Reuters calculations.

* The UK blue-chip index closed 0.37 percent higher at 7,418.28 on Wednesday as prospect of a further delay to Brexit eased some fears of a disruptive no-deal departure and sparked a rally in homebuilders and banks.

* 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: * For Top News : topnews.reuters.com (Reporting by Adil Bhat in Bengaluru)

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