August 29, 2019 / 6:49 AM / 3 months ago

UPDATE 1-UK Stocks-Factors to watch on Aug 29

(Adds company news items and futures)

Aug 29 (Reuters) - Britain’s FTSE 100 index is seen opening 17 points lower at 7,097 on Thursday, according to financial bookmakers, with futures down 0.34% ahead of the cash market open.

* MICRO FOCUS: British IT group Micro Focus Intl said it would miss its revenue target for the year, blaming weak sales that was compounded by a deteriorating economic environment, and decided to speed up a review of its operations.

* ASTRAZENECA: AstraZeneca Plc said its experimental drug to treat moderate-to-severe lupus, anifrolumab, met its main goal in a late-stage study.

* CHESNARA: Pension and life insurance administrator Chesnara said it posted higher first-half profit as its Scildon business benefited from better conditions in the investment market, but it warned low interest rates will strain its cash generation.

* HUNTING: British oilfield services firm Hunting Plc posted a 6.6% rise in first-half core profit, helped by strong demand for its equipment in the United States.

* BRITAIN-EU: Britain’s Leader of the House of Commons Jacob Rees-Mogg said lawmakers who want to stop a no-deal Brexit have two choices: change the law or change the government, and if they fail to choose, Britain will leave the European Union on Oct. 31.

* BP: Operations were normal at BP Plc’s 430,000-barrel-per-day (bpd) Whiting, Indiana, refinery on Wednesday despite talk in Midwestern refined products markets that at least one unit had been shut at the refinery, said sources familiar with plant operations.

* IAG: Ground crew of Spanish flag carrier Iberia, part of British Airways owner International Airlines Group will go ahead with planned strikes at Barcelona’s El Prat airport on Aug. 30-31, trade union UGT said on Wednesday, only a few hours after suggesting the stoppage could be called off.

* Goldman Sachs-backed British broadband operator CityFibre has tabled a bid for rival TalkTalk’s network company, FibreNation, Sky News reported on Wednesday.

* BREXIT: Deutsche Bank on Wednesday retained its estimate that there is a 50:50 chance Britain will crash out of the European Union without a deal with Brussels following Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s move to suspend parliament.

* BREXIT: A petition opposing Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s decision to suspend parliament for a month in the run-up to the planned Brexit date of Oct. 31 gained more than 450,000 signatures in a matter of hours after Johnson’s announcement.

* BREXIT: Britain’s deepening political crisis over its exit from the European Union will weigh on London’s blue-chip stocks index well into next year, as investors continue to steer clear of the region’s assets, according to a Reuters poll.

* AUTOMOBILE: British new car production fell by an annual 10.6% in July, the 14th consecutive month of declines due to weak demand in EU and Asian markets and model changes, an industry body said on Thursday.

* OIL: Oil prices fell for the first time in three days after San Francisco Federal Reserve President Mary Daly sounded a note of concern about the strength of U.S. economy.

* GOLD: Gold prices eked out gains against the backdrop of recession fears, with traders tracking signs of progress on the U.S.-China trade talks and global central banks for direction on interest rates.

* EX-DIVS: Auto Trader, InterContinental Hotels and St James Place will trade without entitlement to their latest dividend pay-out on Thursday, trimming 0.8 points off the FTSE 100 according to Reuters calculations.

* Britain’s Brexit-sensitive domestic stocks fell on Wednesday as renewed worries about the country leaving the European Union without a deal pressured sterling and sapped investor appetite for stocks sensitive to slowing consumer spending.

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

TODAY’S UK PAPERS

> Financial Times

> Other business headlines (Reporting by Shanima A and Siju Varghese in Bengaluru; Editing by Arun Koyyur)

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