April 26, 2018 / 6:57 AM / a month ago

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

(Adds futures, news items)

April 26 (Reuters) - Britain’s FTSE 100 index is seen opening up 9 points on Thursday, according to financial bookmakers, with futures up 0.05 percent ahead of the cash market open.

* BARCLAYS: Improved income at its investment bank helped Barclays report a better-than-expected first quarter pretax profit of 1.7 billion pounds ($2.4 billion) on Thursday, although fines and legal costs from historic misconduct issues led to a statutory loss.

* BP: BP on Thursday appointed Helge Lund, a former head of Norway’s Statoil, as its next chairman to replace Carl-Henric Svanberg, who has held the post for almost nine years.

* EVRAZ: Russian steelmaker Evraz said on Thursday its first-quarter crude steel production fell by 9 percent year-on-year, to 3.4 million tonnes, due to weather conditions interrupting iron ore supply and issues at several blast furnaces.

* SSE: Britain’s competition watchdog said the planned merger of SSE’s retail power and gas business in the UK with Npower, owned by German rival Innogy, could lead to higher prices for customers and warrants further scrutiny.

* ROYAL DUTCH SHELL: Royal Dutch Shell on Thursday reported a 42 percent rise in first-quarter profit, its highest in over three years, boosted by higher oil prices and production.

* DOMINO’S PIZZA: Britain’s biggest pizza delivery firm Domino’s Pizza Group said first-quarter sales were up 18.3 percent as strong trading around New Year and Easter period helped offset the impact of unusually colder weather.

* HASTINGS: British insurer Hastings Group Holdings Plc reported on Thursday a 12 percent jump in first-quarter net revenue, buoyed by an increase in customer base and market share.

* BARCLAYS: UK Asset Resolution, the British ‘bad bank’ set up to manage the assets of two failed lenders, has sold two portfolios of residential mortgages to an investor group led by Barclays, boosting the public purse by 5.3 billion pounds ($7.39 billion).

* PERSIMMON: Persimmon shareholders voted narrowly in favour of the housebuilder’s controversial pay scheme for senior bosses at the British firm’s annual general meeting on Wednesday.

* BARCLAYS: British bank Barclays and digital payments firm PayPal have announced a partnership that will see them explore ways to combine their services for customers

* STANDARD CHARTERED: Standard Chartered Plc’s compliance head Neil Barry is under investigation by the bank pertaining to allegations of misconduct, Bloomberg reported.

* UK-AUTOS: Carmakers operating in Britain reported a fall of more than 6 percent in production in the first three months of 2018 as the industry fretted about the future of diesel vehicles and export prospects after Brexit.

* GOLD: Gold prices on Thursday were little changed after falling to their lowest in five weeks in the previous session, pressured by a stronger dollar, which held near more than three-month highs, and a rise in U.S. Treasury yields.

* OIL: Oil prices rose on Thursday, supported by an expectation that the United States will re-impose sanctions against Iran, a decline in output in Venezuela and ongoing strong demand.

* EX-DIVS: Antofagasta, Fresnillo, Glencore, Legal & General, Relx will trade without entitlement to their latest dividend pay-out on Thursday, trimming 7.44 points off the FTSE 100 according to Reuters calculations

* The UK blue chip index closed down 0.62 percent at 7,379.32 points on Wednesday, after a £64 billion bid for drug maker Shire and a fresh £22 billion offer for Sky failed to lift the UK stock market as worries about rising U.S. bond yields and corporate costs continued to weigh on global markets.

* For more on the factors affecting European stocks, please click on: cpurl://apps.cp./cms/?pageId=livemarkets

TODAY’S UK PAPERS

> Financial Times

> Other business headlines Multimedia versions of Reuters Top News are now available for: * 3000 Xtra : visit topnews.session.rservices.com * For Top News : topnews.reuters.com (Reporting by Justin George Varghese)

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