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Funds News

UPDATE 1-UK Stocks-Factors to watch on Aug 20

(Adds company news items and futures)

Aug 20 (Reuters) - Britain’s FTSE 100 index is seen opening 88 points lower at 6,024 on Thursday, according to financial bookmakers, with futures down 1.12% ahead of cash market open.

* AO WORLD: Online electricals retailer AO World said its revenue surged in the months during and after the easing of coronavirus lockdowns as demand for its products and services was sustained even after its rivals reopened stores in July.

* PREMIER OIL: Premier Oil said it has agreed to terms for a long-term refinancing of its debt facilities, including $300 million of new equity and an extension to its credit maturities, after posting a first-half loss on weak crude prices.

* JOHN LAING: Infrastructure investor John Laing Group said on Thursday it was unlikely to meet its target of 1 billion pounds of investments by the end of 2021, given the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the industry and its business.

* ANTOFAGASTA: Chilean miner Antofagasta reported a 22.4% drop in first-half core earnings on Thursday on lower copper sales and metal prices, although the company said it will pay an interim dividend in line with the payout policy.

* SHERBORNE INVESTORS: Activist Sherborne Investors has committed to pursuing a shake-up in the management and strategy at Barclays BARC.L, despite posting a 56% fall in its net asset value (NAV) in the last six months to 351 million pounds ($459.32 million).

FRASERS: Mike Ashley’s Frasers Group, formerly Sports Direct, reported a 5% rise in 2019-20 core earnings and forecast growth of 10-30% in its new financial year, saying it was well placed for the future despite COVID-19.

* IHG: French hotels group Accor has examined a merger with British peer InterContinental Hotels Group Plc, Le Figaro newspaper reported on its website.

* CENTRICA: Members of the GMB union have voted for industrial action against Centrica Plc’s British Gas after the utility issued “fire and rehire” threats to its workforce, the union said on Wednesday.

* GOLD: Gold on Thursday bounced back from the previous session’s hefty losses after the U.S. Federal Reserve raised concerns that a recovery from the coronavirus-induced economic slump faced a highly uncertain path, weighing on risk sentiment.

* OIL: Oil prices fell as major producers warned of a risk to demand recovery if the coronavirus crisis is prolonged, while U.S. crude inventories dropped less than expected.

* METALS: London copper dipped, retreating from an over two-year high hit in the previous session, as a stronger U.S. dollar made metals less attractive to holders of other currencies.

* EX-DIVS: Anglo American, Berkeley Group, Croda International, Evraz, Hikma, Imperial Brands, London Stock Exchange, Mondi, M&G Plc, Prudential , Reckitt Benckiser, Schroders and Standard Life Aberdeen will trade without entitlement to their latest dividend pay-out on Thursday, trimming 7.7 points off the FTSE 100 according to Reuters calculations.

* The UK blue-chip index ended 0.6% higher on Wednesday as the exporter-heavy index benefited from a slightly weaker pound, while a drop in Hochschild Mining’s share put pressure on the mid-cap FTSE 250.

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

TODAY’S UK PAPERS

> Financial Times

> Other business headlines (Reporting by Tanishaa Nadkar in Bengaluru)

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