July 22, 2020 / 6:54 AM / 19 days ago

UPDATE 1-UK Stocks-Factors to watch on July 22

(Adds futures, news items) Britain’s FTSE 100 index is seen opening 1 point lower at 6,268 on Wednesday, according to financial bookmakers, with futures down 0.2% ahead of cash markets open.

* ANTOFAGASTA: Chilean miner Antofagasta maintained its copper production and cost targets for the year as it reported lower second-quarter output.

* KINGFISHER: Home improvement retailer Kingfisher forecast first half underlying profit ahead of last year after strong second quarter trading.

* STAGECOACH: British transport company Stagecoach said it was difficult to forecast future profitability after its earnings per share fell 39% in its 2019-2020 financial year.

* BRITVIC: British soft drinks maker Britvic posted lower third-quarter revenue, as fewer people drank its beverages in public places due to the coronavirus-induced lockdowns.

* MELROSE: Turnaround specialist Melrose Industries signalled it could lay off an unspecified number of employees as the company trims costs to cope with the coronavirus-led downturn.

* AVIATION: Britain is working on additional measures to help an aviation sector battered by the COVID-19 pandemic, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said.

* OIL: Oil prices fell as industry data showed a bigger-than-expected inventory build in the United States, where climbing coronavirus cases may further dent fuel demand in the world’s biggest oil consumer.

* GOLD: Gold jumped more than 1% on Wednesday to its highest in nearly nine years, driven by a weaker dollar and as expectations of more stimulus to resuscitate pandemic-hit economies lifted the metal’s appeal as an inflation-hedge.

* The UK blue-chip index closed 0.1% higher, as gains in energy were offset by drugmaker AstraZeneca. The stock retreated from life-time highs after the lead developer of its vaccine expressed caution over when the vaccine could be rolled out.

* 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 Tapanjana Rudra in Bengaluru)

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