April 26, 2019 / 6:46 AM / 4 months ago

UPDATE 1-UK Stocks-Factors to watch on April 26

(Adds company news items and futures)

April 26 (Reuters) - Britain’s FTSE 100 index is seen opening 4 points higher at 7,438 on Friday, according to financial bookmakers, while FTSE 100 futures were up 0.07 percent ahead of the cash market open.

* HASTINGS: British insurer Hastings Group Holdings Plc said on Friday first-quarter gross written premiums rose 4 percent as more customers bought policies, even as it battled intense competition.

* JUST EAT: Online takeaway service Just Eat on Friday reported a 21 percent rise in first-quarter orders to 61.4 million, driven by an acceleration of delivery initiatives.

* FERREXPO: Ferrexpo Plc said on Friday Deloitte LLP had resigned as its auditor with immediate effect.

* WPP: The world’s biggest advertising company WPP reported an 8.5 percent slump in first-quarter underlying sales in North America, its biggest market, due to client losses that held the overall group back.

* ASTRAZENECA: British drugmaker AstraZeneca Plc’s first-quarter product sales beat analysts’ expectations on Friday, benefiting from higher demand for its cancer medicines.

* ROYAL BANK: Britain’s Royal Bank of Scotland has posted better than expected first quarter profits, a day after its chief executive Ross McEwan announced plans to leave within a year, kickstarting a new phase for the state-controlled lender.

* GLENCORE: Glencore Plc said on Thursday that the U.S Commodity Futures Trading Commission is investigating whether the miner and its units may have violated certain regulations through “corrupt practices”.

Aurelia Metals Ltd on Friday said it was in talks about a potential buyout of Glencore’s CSA copper mine.

* LONMIN: South Africa’s Sibanye-Stillwater on Thursday revised its offer for Lonmin, with new terms that gave a valuation for the struggling platinum miner that was about 60 million pounds less than originally proposed.

* RBS: Royal Bank of Scotland is searching for a new chief executive after Ross McEwan resigned, signalling a fresh start as it heads for full private ownership after a state bailout.

* SHELL: Dutch trade unions on Thursday said they have agreed to a new offer by Royal Dutch Shell to end a wage dispute which has hit production at Shell’s Pernis oil refinery and Moerdijk chemical plants in recent weeks.

* OIL: Oil prices dipped on Friday on hopes that producer club OPEC will soon raise output to make up for a decline in exports from Iran following a tightening of sanctions on Tehran by the United States.

* GOLD: Gold climbed on Friday, as signs of weak global growth rekindled investor interest in the safe-haven metal, while a strong dollar ahead of the U.S. GDP data capped gains for the bullion.

* The UK blue chip index closed 0.6 percent lower on Thursday as Taylor Wimpey’s warning on margins triggered a sell-off among housebuilders, while investor sentiment soured on Sainsbury’s after the company scrapped its proposed takeover of Walmart’s Asda.

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

TODAY’S UK PAPERS

> Financial Times

> Other business headlines (Reporting by Pushkala Aripaka in Bengaluru)

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