January 23, 2020 / 7:59 AM / a month ago

UPDATE 1-UK Stocks-Factors to watch on Jan. 23

(Adds futures, news items)

Jan 23 (Reuters) - Britain’s FTSE 100 index is seen opening 9 points lower at 7,563 on Thursday, according to financial bookmakers, with futures flat ahead of the cash market open.

* ASOS: British online fashion retailer ASOS beat analysts’ expectations for sales growth in the key Christmas trading period, indicating that management has addressed the operational issues that plagued it in 2019.

* ANGLO AMERICAN: Anglo American reported a 4% increase in fourth-quarter production, driven by a ramp-up at its Brazilian Minas-Rio mine, while water shortages at its Los Bronces mine in Chile weighed on the global miner’s copper output.

* JOHN LAING: Infrastructure firm John Laing Group Plc said Chief Executive Officer Olivier Brousse will step down after nearly six years in the top job.

* BLUE PRISM: Blue Prism, a British provider of automated processes for businesses, reported an 83% rise in full-year revenue to 101 million pounds ($133 million), and said it expected to make continued progress in its current year.

* COUNTRYSIDE PROPERTIES: British housebuilder Countryside Properties reported a 65% surge in its order book for the first quarter, boosted partly by higher demand for affordable homes.

* CMC MARKETS: Britain’s CMC Markets said net operating income came in above its expectations in the third quarter, as it partly benefited from a flurry of online trading, dubbed as the “Santa Claus” rally, in the final days of 2019.

* POLYMETAL: Polymetal, one of Russia’s largest gold and silver producers, said its fourth quarter revenue rose 1% year-on-year to $643 million as lower output volumes were offset by increasing prices.

* IHG: InterContinental Hotels Group will allow customers to change or cancel stays scheduled up to Feb. 3 across mainland China, Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan at no additional cost, the company said on its official WeChat account.

* BANKS: Britain’s regulators should have a formal role after Brexit to keep the financial sector globally competitive and less prone to “gold-plating” international norms, an industry think tank said.

* JOBS: British employers offered their staff a median annual pay settlement of 2.2% in the three months to December, down from 2.6% in the three months to November, industry data showed.

* SHELL: Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas has signed a deal with French energy group Total for 1.5 million tonnes of LNG per year, the African producer said on Wednesday. Nigeria LNG is a joint venture between the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, Shell, Total and Eni.

* BREXIT: Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Wednesday he did not expect the European Union to offer Britain worse post-Brexit trade terms than it has offered to other trading partners.

* OIL: Oil prices fell to their lowest in seven weeks, sliding more than 1% on concern that the spread of a respiratory virus from China may lower fuel demand if it stunts economic growth in an echo of the SARS epidemic nearly 20 years ago.

* GOLD: Gold prices edged lower as cautious investors awaited a policy decision by the European Central Bank due later in the day, although mounting concerns over a virus outbreak in China provided a floor under prices.

* No FTSE 100 companies will go ex-dividend on Thursday.

* London’s FTSE 100 recorded its longest losing streak since early December as a strengthening in sterling triggered by strong manufacturing sentiment data weighed on dollar earners, while travel group TUI slid on more Boeing woes.

TODAY’S UK PAPERS

> Financial Times

> Other business headlines (Reporting by Shanima A in Bengaluru)

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