February 7, 2020 / 6:03 AM / 10 days ago

UK Stocks-Factors to watch on Feb. 7

    Feb 7 (Reuters) - Britain's FTSE 100 index is seen opening 7 points
lower on Friday, according to financial bookmakers.
    
    * SHELL: Oil and gas major Royal Dutch Shell said it plans to build
its first utility-scale solar farm in Australia, part of a global push into the
power business and cleaner energy.
    * ECONOMY: British companies hired permanent staff in January at the fastest
rate in just over a year and shops reported the biggest increase in sales since
2014, according to two surveys which added to signs of a post-election bounce in
the economy.
    * RETAILERS: British retailers had their biggest increase in sales in six
years in January as Prime Minister Boris Johnson's sweeping election win and
price-cutting encouraged consumers to spend more, a survey showed.
    * HARGREAVES LANSDOWN: Hargreaves Lansdown's largest investor Peter
Hargreaves will sell shares worth about 500 million pounds ($647 million) in the
British investment platform via a sale to institutional investors, a bookrunner
on the deal said.
    * OIL: Oil prices climbed after Russia said it backs a recommendation for
OPEC and other producers to deepen output cuts amid falling demand for crude as
China battles the coronavirus epidemic that has hit global markets.
    * GOLD: Gold prices were steady after two days of gains as share markets
lost ground, with the coronavirus that originated in Wuhan, China, showing no
signs of slowing down, escalating fears of a broader impact on economic
growth.
    * UK shares advanced for a fourth straight session on Thursday as risk
sentiment picked up after China pledged to halve tariffs on some U.S. imports,
though Royal Mail slid to an all-time low after warning of a challenging
year ahead.
    
    * UK CORPORATE DIARY:
 Bellway   BWY.L     Trading Update
 TUI       TUIT.L    Quarterly Results
 
    TODAY'S UK PAPERS
    > Financial Times                     
    > Other business headlines            

 (Reporting by Shanima A in Bengaluru)
  
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