July 4, 2018 / 6:37 AM / 3 months ago

UPDATE 1-UK Stocks-Factors to watch on July 4

(Adds company news items and futures)

July 4 (Reuters) - Britain’s FTSE 100 index is seen opening 15 points lower at 7,578 on Wednesday, according to financial bookmakers, with futures down 0.10 percent ahead of the cash market open.

* SAINSBURY’S: Sainsbury’s, Britain’s second biggest supermarket group which agreed a 7.3 billion pound ($9.7 billion) takeover of rival Asda in April, saw sales growth slow in its latest quarter, reflecting price cuts in a competitive market.

* NATIONAL EXPRESS: British transport company National Express said its Spanish and Moroccan business has won a 1 billion euro ($1.17 billion) contract in Morocco to run bus services on 61 routes for 15 years.

* SIG: British building products supplier SIG Plc said on Wednesday it appointed Ernst & Young LLP as its external auditor, a week after UK’s accounting watchdog began an investigation into Deloitte LLP’s audit of the company’s two financial statements.

* BP: BP and ConocoPhillips announced on Tuesday a swap deal that will see the British oil giant increase its stake in a major North Sea development while its U.S. peer will grow in Alaska.

* GLENCORE: U.S. authorities have demanded Glencore hand over documents about its business in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Venezuela and Nigeria as part of a corruption probe, sending the mining company’s shares down more than 8 percent.

* VEDANTA RESOURCES: Billionaire Anil Agarwal faces investor resistance to his $1 billion bid to buy out minority shareholders in Vedanta Resources and take the London-listed Indian miner private.

* ROLLS-ROYCE: Rolls-Royce Corp, a unit of Rolls-Royce Holdings Plc, has won a $420 million contract for AE 3007H (military designation F137) engine-sustainment services, the Pentagon said in a statement on Tuesday.

* SHELL: A planned overhaul of the gasoline-producing unit at Royal Dutch Shell Plc’s 209,787 barrel-per-day (bpd) Convent, Louisiana, refinery is on schedule to finish in the first week of August, sources familiar with plant operations said.

* VEDANTA: Vedanta Ltd has sought a permanent injunction against the Tamil Nadu state government from interfering with the operations of its copper smelter, according to a petition filed with the country’s environmental court.

* RYANAIR: Pilots directly employed by Ryanair and who are members of its Irish trade union will go on strike for the first time on July 12 after the union said on Tuesday the airline had failed to meet demands over new working practices.

* GOLD: Gold prices rose to a one-week high early on Wednesday, rebounding from a seven-month low touched in the previous session, as the dollar softened, stoking some demand for the yellow metal.

* OIL: Oil prices edged up on Wednesday following a report of tightening U.S. fuel inventories amid an outage at Syncrude Canada oil sands facility in Alberta, which usually supplies the United States.

* The UK blue chip FTSE 100 index closed 0.6 percent higher at 7,593.29 points on Tuesday, making back some of Monday’s 1.2 percent loss when concerns over global trade hit risky assets.

* For more on the factors affecting European stocks, please click on: cpurl://apps.cp./cms/?pageId=livemarkets

TODAY’S UK PAPERS

> Financial Times

> Other business headlines (Reporting by Siju Varghese)

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