July 18, 2019 / 7:06 AM / a month ago

UPDATE 1-UK Stocks-Factors to watch on July 18

(Adds company news items, futures)

July 18 (Reuters) - Britain’s FTSE 100 index is seen opening 25 points lower at 7,510 on Thursday, according to financial bookmakers, with futures down 0.40% ahead of the cash market open.

* OFWAT: Britain’s water regulator called for the country’s utilities to invest the equivalent of 6 million pounds every day for the next five years in plans to reduce pollution and leakages in increasingly stressed UK infrastructure.

* ANGLO AMERICAN: Miner Anglo American said its overall output rose 2% in the second quarter, benefiting from a ramp up in iron ore production at its Minas-Rio mine in Brazil and increased metallurgical coal output.

* SSE: Power company SSE Plc reported a 1.2% dip in customer accounts and stuck to its full-year targets despite seeing a dip in the volume of renewable energy delivered in its first quarter compared to previous expectations.

* ASOS: British online fashion retailer ASOS warned on profit for the third time in eight months, blaming operational issues as it overhauls its warehouses in the United States and Europe.

* EI GROUP: Slug and Lettuce owner Stonegate Pub Company said it had agreed to pay 1.27 billion pounds ($1.58 billion) to buy pub operator Ei Group , taking control of the company’s more than 4,000 pubs and massively expanding its existing network.

* EASYJET: Britain’s easyJet on reported third-quarter trading in line with expectations, boosted by more customers taking services like allocated seating, enabling it to reiterate its full-year profit forecasts.

* ROYAL MAIL: Royal Mail Plc said its performance in the first quarter was in line with its expectations and re-affirmed its annual forecast in a short statement ahead of its annual general meeting.

* ELECTRA: Activist investor Edward Bramson is resigning from the board of Electra to focus on other commitments after leading a four-year transformation of the British private equity firm.

* BP: BP Plc plans to shut the small gasoline-producing unit at its 430,000 barrel-per-day (bpd) Whiting, Indiana, refinery for a planned overhaul by mid-August, said sources familiar with plant operations.

* OIL: Oil prices steadied on Thursday after falling in the previous session when official data showed U.S. stockpiles of products like gasoline rose sharply last week, suggesting weak demand during the peak driving season.

* GOLD: Gold prices pulled back from a two-week high to trade lower on Thursday, as some investors took advantage of the last session’s gain to book profits.

* The UK blue chip index closed 0.6% lower on Wednesday amid sharp falls in oil majors as investors priced in an overnight slide in crude to one-week lows, while downbeat trading updates knocked chemicals group Johnson Matthey and miner Fresnillo.

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

TODAY’S UK PAPERS

> Financial Times

> Other business headlines (Reporting by Samantha Machado And Adil Bhat in Bengaluru; Editing by Arun Koyyur)

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