UPDATE 1-UK Stocks-Factors to watch on Dec 16 – Reuters.com

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Dec 16 (Reuters) – Britain’s FTSE 100 index is seen opening up 6 points on Friday, according to financial bookmakers, with futures down 0.11 percent ahead of the cash market open.
* The UK blue chip index closed up 0.7 percent on Thursday at 6999.01, helped by stronger banking stocks and Centrica, although mining companies fell after the U.S. Federal Reserve raised interest rates.
* ANGLO AMERICAN/DE BEERS: Anglo American Plc’s De Beers said on Thursday it failed to find a buyer for its money-losing Snap Lake mine in Canada’s Arctic and would start flooding the underground operation in early January.
* TRINITY MIRROR: British newspaper publisher Trinity Mirror said it expected print advertising revenue to fall 17 percent in the final quarter, underscoring financial pressures on newspapers and digital media.
* JOHNSTON PRESS: Johnston Press Plc, publisher of the Scotsman, the Yorkshire Post and a string of local newspapers, said it had agreed to sell its unit Johnston Publishing East Anglia Ltd to Iliffe News and Media Ltd for 17 million pounds in cash.
* RENTOKIL: Support services firm Rentokil Initial said it would combine parts of its workwear and hygiene units with those of Haniel, a family-owned German firm, to create a leading European provider with combined revenues of about 1.1 billion euros.
* MONARCH: British airline Monarch confirmed its forecast for annual earnings, after what it called a challenging year during which its majority shareholder had to provide it with a 165 million pound ($205 million) lifeline.
* LSE: The European Union is considering legislative measures to move London’s euro-denominated clearing business to the euro zone, but the changes would apply only after Britain leaves the bloc, an EU official told Reuters on Thursday. London dominates clearing of derivatives denominated in euros, mainly via the London Stock Exchange’s LCH.Clearnet business.
* COUNTRYWIDE: British real estate agent Countrywide Plc said on Thursday that it is considering a sale of Lambert Smith Hampton (LSH), a commercial property consultancy firm it bought in 2013.
* PUNCH TAVERNS: Heineken NV and investment partner Patron Capital have struck a 403 million pound ($500 million) deal to buy and break up Punch Taverns, in a move that would make the Dutch brewer Britain’s third-biggest pubs group.
* TESCO: The former group commercial director of Tesco, Kevin Grace, will not face charges from the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) over the accounting scandal that rocked Britain’s biggest retailer in 2014, his lawyer said on Thursday.
* SHELL: Natural gas workers in Peru plan to hold an indefinite strike starting Dec. 29 that would disrupt production of the widely-used fuel as well as Royal Dutch Shell Plc’s liquefied natural gas exports, the union SUTRAPPEC said Thursday.
* SKY: Rupert Murdoch’s Twenty-First Century Fox has struck a $14.6 billion deal to buy European pay-TV firm Sky that unites a media empire across two continents and helps it take on rivals like Netflix in the battle for viewers.
* UK RAIL STRIKE: A strike by train drivers which has brought rail services in southern England to a standstill and caused chaos for hundreds of thousands of London commuters will continue after talks on Thursday failed to end the dispute. The dispute between the drivers’ union ASLEF and Southern, run by GTR, a joint venture owned by London-listed Go-Ahead and France’s Keolis, centres on whose role it should be to open and close the train doors.
* UK POST OFFICE STRIKE: UK’s Communication Workers Union said its members working at the Post Office would move ahead with their planned five-day strike in the lead up to Christmas, after the state-owned firm refused the union’s proposal for a structured period of negotiations.
* BREXIT: European Union leaders agreed their plan for Brexit negotiations on Thursday, pledging to move swiftly and stick together to ensure Britain does not cherry pick a sweet deal that might inspire others to unstitch the bloc.
* BREXIT: World Trade Organisation access, whereby Britain would rely on its WTO membership for access to European markets, would not be the best outcome of Brexit, Britain’s finance minister, Philip Hammond, said on Friday.
* BREXIT: EU leaders have agreed to invite representatives of the European Parliament to participate in meetings to prepare for Britain’s departure from the bloc, European Council President Donald Tusk said on Thursday.
* UK NUCLEAR: South Korea’s energy minister Joo Hyung-hwan discussed cooperation on British nuclear energy projects in a meeting in London on Thursday with Britain’s business minister Greg Clark, South Korea’s energy ministry said in a statement.
* UK BUSINESS CONFIDENCE: British businesses turned more optimistic in November about the country’s economy although they are still not as confident as they were before June’s Brexit vote, a survey by polling firm YouGov and the Centre for Economic and Business Research (CEBR), a think tank, showed.
* LONDON RENTS: London rents, which are amongst the highest in the world, have fallen this year for the first time since 2010 as landlords rushed into the rental market before a tax increase in April, a report published by Landbay, a property market lender, showed.
* METALS: Copper held modest overnight gains on Friday, despite a stronger dollar and signs of mounting supply in London Metal Exchange warehouses.
* OIL: Oil prices edged up on Friday as evidence increased that producers in the Middle East were informing customers of upcoming supply cuts as part of a coordinated effort to drain a global glut.
* For more on the factors affecting European stocks, please click on: cpurl://apps.cp./cms/?pageId=livemarkets
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