December 6, 2018 / 7:58 AM / 7 days ago

UPDATE 1-UK Stocks-Factors to watch on Dec 6

(Adds company news items and futures)

Dec 6 (Reuters) - Britain’s FTSE 100 index is seen opening 72 points lower at 6,850 points on Thursday, according to financial bookmakers with FTSE 100 futures down 0.92 percent ahead of the cash market open.

* BEAZLEY: Lloyds Of London insurer Beazley Plc said on Thursday it estimated the initial cost of the California wildfires to be $40 million, net of reinsurance. * TED BAKER: British clothing and accessories retailer Ted Baker Plc reported a slight decline in group revenue for the 16-week period between August and December as lower wholesale sales overshadowed retail sales growth.

* DS SMITH: Packaging company DS Smith Plc on Thursday reported a 32 percent jump in first-half adjusted operating profit as it sold more boxes at higher prices, and said it was exploring a sale of its plastics division.

* THOMAS COOK: Thomas Cook’s shares climbed 45 percent on hopes that it would not need to issue new equity, although its bond prices extended their losses to record lows on Wednesday, amid deepening worries about the UK travel group’s debt. * BARCLAYS: Britain’s Barclays expects to have grown its Swiss private banking business by more than 10 percent this year and is looking to expand further in Switzerland in 2019. * BP: International energy group BP plans to shut two oil producing platforms in Azerbaijan for up to 15 days in 2019 for planned maintenance, BP Azerbaijan’s vice president said on Wednesday.

* OIL: Oil prices dipped on Thursday in tepid trading ahead of a meeting by producer group OPEC that is expected to result in a supply cut aimed at draining a glut that has pulled down crude prices by 30 percent since October.

* GOLD: Gold prices edged higher early on Thursday as the dollar eased amid a spike in risk aversion, while palladium further bolstered its premium over the bullion. * EX-DIVS: Next Plc and Royal Mail Plc will trade without entitlement to their latest dividend pay-out on Thursday, trimming 0.57 points off the FTSE 100 according to Reuters calculations.

* The UK blue chip index closed 100.92 points lower at 6921.84 points on Wednesday, as worries about slowing growth and trade wars weighed on sentiment.

TODAY’S UK PAPERS

> Financial Times

> Other business headlines (Reporting by Adil Bhat)

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