June 19, 2019 / 6:42 AM / 3 months ago

UPDATE 1-UK Stocks-Factors to watch on June 19

(Adds company news items, futures)

June 19 (Reuters) - Britain’s FTSE 100 index is seen opening 10 points higher at 7,453 on Wednesday, according to financial bookmakers, with futures down 0.03% ahead of the cash market open.

* WHITBREAD: Whitbread Plc said on Wednesday its first-quarter room revenue was hit by tough market competition and ongoing Brexit uncertainty, as the company tries to focus on its Premier Inn-brand after selling Costa Coffee to Coca-Cola Co last year.

* BERKELEY: Housebuilder Berkeley Group Plc reported a slump in annual pretax profit as Britain’s housing sector continued to be pressured due to increasing uncertainty ahead of the country’s exit from the European Union.

* SAGA: Insurance and tourism firm Saga Plc said on Wednesday that its tour operations were still being hit by political uncertainties in the UK, even as overall trading so far was in line with expectations as it revamps its insurance business.

* BLUE PRISM: Blue Prism Group said on Wednesday it had agreed to buy cloud services company Thoughtonomy for up to 80 million pounds ($100 million) to help it supply mid-tier companies with its robotic process automation platform.

* MULBERRY: British luxury bag maker Mulberry swung to a loss in 2018 as it took a 2.1 million pounds ($2.64 million) hit from the collapse of department store group House of Fraser, adding to general weakness in its home market.

* ROLLS ROYCE: Rolls-Royce chief executive Warren East said on Tuesday that uncertainties over Brexit remain an unwelcome distraction for the aerospace industry three years after Britain voted to leave the European Union.

* ACACIA MINING: Barrick Gold Corp, the world’s No. 2 gold miner, believes its proposed offer to take full control of its African unit is “more than fair” and will engage with Acacia Mining Plc’s board and minority shareholders to win them over, Chief Executive Mark Bristow told Reuters on Tuesday.

* GOALS SOCCER CENTRES: British five-a-side football pitch operator Goals Soccer Centres confirmed on Tuesday it is hiring audit firm Deloitte to help it assess options amid discussions with the UK tax authority HMRC regarding certain tax errors.

* SPORTS DIRECT, GOALS SOCCER CENTRES: Mike Ashley’s Sports Direct has demanded British five-a-side football pitch operator Goals Soccer Centres to allow it to hire corporate investigator Kroll to look into a slew of accounting issues at the company, Sky News reported.

* GOLD: Gold traded almost steady on Wednesday as investors awaited the U.S. Federal Reserve’s monetary policy decision later in the day, while expectations of an improvement in trade relationship between the United States and China dented the metal’s appeal.

* OIL: Oil prices extended gains on Wednesday after rising in the previous session on rekindled hopes for a U.S.-China trade deal and on the potential for conflict between the U.S. and Iran in the Middle East after tanker attacks there last week.

* The UK blue chip index ended 1.2% higher on Tuesday as a promise of more stimulus if required from European Central Bank (ECB) chief Mario Draghi lifted UK shares across sectors.

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

TODAY’S UK PAPERS

> Financial Times

> Other business headlines (Reporting by Tanishaa Nadkar and Adil Bhat in Bengaluru)

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