March 13, 2020 / 7:53 AM / 20 days ago

UPDATE 1-UK Stocks-Factors to watch on March 13

(Adds company news items and futures)

March 13 - Britain’s FTSE 100 index is seen opening up 66 points on Friday, according to financial bookmakers, with futures up 3.8% ahead of cash markets open.

* SAGA: British travel group Saga said on Friday it was suspending its cruise operations until early May in response to the coronavirus crisis, at an estimated cost to company earnings of about 10-15 million pounds.

* PREMIER OIL: UK oil producer Premier Oil said on Friday it had identified at least $100 million in potential savings on its 2020 capital spending plans as it and other peers scramble to adjust to the plunge in global crude prices.

* TAKEAWAY: Just Eat Takeaway, Europe’s largest online food ordering and delivery company, said on Friday its Takeaway subsidiary would begin dropping orders at the door as a precautionary measure in light of the virus outbreak.

* EASYJET: EasyJet said on Friday it will allow customers to transfer their flights to alternative dates or destinations without a change fee, as many countries have imposed travel restrictions.

* BORIS JOHNSON ON VIRUS: Prime Minister Boris Johnson warned on Thursday that many more families would see their loved ones die from coronavirus, as the government’s chief scientific adviser said Britain likely has as many as 10,000 people infected.

* SAUDI ARABIA: Saudi Arabia has stepped up efforts to squeeze Russia’s Urals oil grade out of its main markets by offering its own cheap barrels instead after their long-standing deal to support global oil prices fell apart, seven oil sources said.

* BT: Britain’s biggest telecoms group BT said its CEO Philip Jansen tested positive for COVID-19 on Thursday, a latest high-profile figure to be affected by the spread of coronavirus.

* OIL: Oil fell a third day as the horror show for crude investors continued on Friday amid panic about evaporating demand from the coronavirus pandemic, with Brent set for its biggest weekly loss since 1991 and U.S. crude heading for its worst week since 2008.

* GOLD: Gold prices extended losses on Friday and were set for their steepest weekly decline in nearly seven years as traders sold bullion to finance margin calls in other assets hammered by panic over the coronavirus.

* London’s FTSE 100 index crashed 10.9% on Thursday’s close to levels not seen since the 2012 on Thursday after the European Central Bank’s stimulus package underwhelmed markets and added to alarm caused by a U.S. curb on European travellers.

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

TODAY’S UK PAPERS

> Financial Times

> Other business headlines (Reporting by Aniruddha Ghosh in Bengaluru; Editing by Shailesh Kuber)

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