UPDATE 1-UK Stocks-Factors to watch on April 18

(Adds futures, company news items)

April 18 (Reuters) - Britain’s FTSE 100 index is seen opening down 58 points, or 0.9 percent, on Monday, according to financial bookmakers, with futures down 0.96 percent ahead of the cash market open. For more on the factors affecting European stocks, please click on

* The UK blue chip index closed 0.3 percent lower on Friday at 6,343.75, as stagnation at the top end of the housing market allied to persistent concerns about a possible British exit from the European Union put pressure on house builders.

* CENTRICA: Britain’s largest energy supplier Centrica said on Monday it had lost another 1.5 percent of its home energy accounts in the first quarter, highlighting the company’s market share continues to be under severe pressure from rivals.

* RECKITT BENCKISER: Reckitt Benckiser reported slightly better-than-expected quarterly sales on Monday and affirmed its full-year forecast after a severe flu season boosted sales of medicines and other health products.

* STOCK SPIRIT: Vodka maker Stock Spirits Group Plc, bowing to pressure from its largest shareholder, on Monday said Chief Executive Chris Heath would step down with immediate effect to take early retirement.

* SPIRENT/JOHN MENZIES: Spirent Communications Plc, a British telecoms testing provider, said it appointed Paula Bell as chief financial officer effective Sept. 5. Bell is currently chief financial officer of John Menzies, having joined in 2013.

* ANGLO AMERICAN: A leading investor advisory firm has urged shareholders to reject the remuneration report for Anglo American’s executives at the company’s annual meeting, saying it was too generous given the miner’s share price collapse.

* IAG: A British Airways passenger aircraft was hit on Sunday by what most likely was a drone as it prepared to land at Britain’s Heathrow Airport, police said. British Airways, owned by IAG, said in a statement that the aircraft, which had 132 customers and five crew on board, was “fully examined by our engineers and it was cleared to operate its next flight”.

* ANGLO AMERICAN: Anglo American Plc suspended mining activities at its flagship Los Bronces copper mine and the smaller El Soldado deposit for security reasons following heavy rains that battered central Chile, the company told Reuters on Sunday.

* BRITISH AMERICAN TOBACCO: India’s biggest cigarette maker ITC Ltd , partly owned by British American Tobacco, said it would resume production in its factories “consequent upon” a favourable court order, two weeks after it decided to shut down its plants over the government’s stringent new packaging rules.

* SAINSBURY: CVC Capital Partners, Qatar’s QIA and Canada’s Brookfield have abandoned a secret plan to bid for British supermarket group J.Sainsbury plc, Sky News reported on Saturday.

* LSEG: A British vote to leave the European Union could be a threat to any rival bidder from the United States for the London Stock Exchange Group but would not undermine the planned $30 billion merger between Deutsche Boerse and LSE, the German exchange’s finance chief said in “Euro am Sonntag”.

* ASTRAZENECA: Drugmaker AstraZeneca Plc has held internal talks about a bid for Medivation Inc but has yet to make a formal offer, the Sunday Times reported, citing sources.

* STANDARD CHARTERED: Standard Chartered has talked to the former deputy governor of the Bank of England, Sir Paul Tucker, about becoming its chairman, The Times reported without citing sources. (

* BANKS: The UK parliament’s Treasury Select Committee is to examine further whether banks are required to hold sufficient capital to cushion them against potential losses, wading into a row between the Bank of England and the architect of the sector’s reforms.

* STEEL: Tata Steel Ltd has hired a team of Standard Chartered Plc bankers to help sell its loss-making UK business amid Britain’s attempt to prevent the closure of one of it’s biggest manufacturing operations, a source familiar with the matter said.

* BREXIT: Britain’s finance industry should not count on any easing measures from the European Central Bank to moderate consequences that might arise if the UK opts to leave the European Union, an ECB council member said on Friday.

* BREXIT: Britain will face consequences if it votes to leave the European Union, French Economy Minister Emmanuel Macron said on Sunday, the latest warning from a foreign leader about the possible impact of Brexit.

* BREXIT: Britain’s finance ministry will present a “serious, sober analysis” on Monday of the long-term economic impact if Britain votes to leave the European Union in a June referendum, a source close to the document said.

* BREXIT: British finance minister George Osborne said a vote to leave the European Union in a referendum in June would do permanent damage to the country’s economy, which he warned would be 6 percent smaller by 2030 than if it stayed in the bloc.

* BREXIT: The number of voters who are still undecided whether to back the campaign for Britain to remain or leave the European Union has gone up by six percentage points since March to 17 pct, the Sun reported, citing a ComRes poll. (

* UK RENTAL: Asking prices for rental properties in England and Wales have fallen, hit by the introduction of a new tax, but prices in the housing market as a whole have continued their rise, online property listings firm Rightmove said.

* OIL: Oil prices tumbled on Monday after a meeting by major producers in Qatar collapsed without an agreement to freeze output, leaving the credibility of the OPEC producer cartel in tatters and the world awash with unwanted fuel.

* GOLD: Gold rose on Monday after oil producers failed to agree on an output freeze, sending crude prices and equities tumbling and stocking safe haven demand for bullion.

* COPPER: London copper steadied on Monday, capped by sharply lower oil prices after a meeting of producers in Doha failed to reach a deal to trim supply, undermining cost support for metals.


> Financial Times

> Other business headlines (Reporting by Noor Zainab Hussain in Bengaluru; Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips)


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