August 9, 2019 / 6:41 AM / 4 months ago

UPDATE 1-UK Stocks-Factors to watch on Aug 9

(Adds company news items and futures)

Aug 9 (Reuters) - Britain’s FTSE 100 index is seen opening down 20 points at 7,266 on Friday, according to financial bookmakers, with futures down 0.07% ahead of the cash market open.

* WPP: WPP reported a better-than-expected organic sales performance in the second quarter as its new strategy under boss Mark Read helped the world’s biggest advertising group to win new business and retain clients.

* BAE SYSTEMS: BAE Systems, Britain’s biggest defence company, said its group finance director Peter Lynas would retire on March 31 next year and be succeeded by Brad Greve.

* G4S: British security contractor G4S said its board had approved plans to separate its cash solutions business as it looks to focus on its mainstay security operations.

* HIKMA: Hikma Pharmaceuticals Plc raised its full-year revenue forecasts for its generic drug business on Friday and said sales in its injectables unit would be near the high end of its previous outlook range due to higher demand for its medicines.

* WILLIAM HILL: Gambling firm William Hill, which plans to cut about a third of its betting shops and jobs in Britain, reported lower first-half adjusted operating profit on Friday hit by a regulatory cap on fixed odds betting terminals and costs to expand in the U.S.

* CELTIC: Arsenal have bolstered their defence with the signing of 22-year-old Scotland international left back Kieran Tierney from Celtic on a long-term deal, the clubs confirmed on Thursday.

* OIL: Oil prices fell on Friday amid fears over demand as the U.S-China trade row casts its shadow over markets, although prices got some support from expectations of more OPEC production cuts.

* GOLD: Gold firmed above the key $1,500 pivot on Friday, en route to its best week since April 2016, as an escalation in the Sino-U.S. trade dispute and fears of a global economic slowdown triggered fresh interest for safe-haven assets.

* The UK blue chip index closed up 1.2% at 7285.90 points after a round of Chinese data dissipated some global growth fears and nickel prices hit a 16-month high amid supply worries, while Hargreaves Lansdown advanced after strong annual results.

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

TODAY’S UK PAPERS

> Financial Times

> Other business headlines (Reporting by Indranil Sarkar and Siju Varghese in Bengaluru)

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