March 5, 2020 / 8:02 AM / 23 days ago

UPDATE 1-UK Stocks-Factors to watch on March 5

(Updates futures, add news items)

March 5 (Reuters) - Britain’s FTSE 100 index is seen opening higher on Thursday, with futures up 0.6% ahead of cash markets open.

* HYVE: UK-based event organiser Hyve said revenue and profit in 2020 will be hit after it postponed four events in Asia, as well as the Shoptalk 2020 and Groceryshop events in the U.S. due to the coronavirus epidemic.

* PREMIER OIL: British North Sea focused oil and gas producer Premier Oil reported a record free cash flow of $327 million last year, up around 30%, adding it would be more than 65% carbon neutral by 2025 and 100% by 2030.

* ITV: British broadcaster ITV reported full-year adjusted earnings of 729 million pounds ($939 million) for 2019, down 10% from a year earlier but better than the market expectations, reflecting a decline in ad revenue and strategic investments in the business.

* SCHRODERS: British money manager Schroders posted a 4% fall in full-year pretax profit, hit by higher costs and a decrease in revenue margins as market uncertainty led some investors to sell equities.

* ADMIRAL: Car and home insurer Admiral Group Plc said that its co-founder and chief executive officer, David Stevens, would retire in 12 months’ time.

* CAPITA: Outsourcing group Capita reported a sharp rise in net debt in its full-year results and said it would have to invest more than initially thought in its ongoing restructuring.

* PAGE GROUP: Global recruiter PageGroup said gross profit fell by 3% in the first two months of 2020, mainly hurt by the coronavirus outbreak and it expects to be hit further by the fast-spreading virus.

* SAGA: Travel and insurance group Saga said it has seen a higher level of near-term cancellations for its cruises and tours due to the coronavirus epidemic.

* RIO TINTO: Investors in Rio Tinto Ltd have renewed efforts to force the world’s biggest iron ore miner to commit to targets that would scale back emissions of its customers in line with the Paris Agreement on combating climate change.

* FLYBE: British regional airline Flybe collapsed on Thursday after a plunge in travel demand, making the struggling carrier the industry’s first big casualty of the coronavirus outbreak.

* TESCO: Britain’s biggest supermarket group, Tesco, will start price matching Aldi on hundreds of everyday items, firing the latest salvo in its fight to stem the market share gains of its rival.

* INVESTMENT ASSOCIATION: Britain’s investment industry trade body has warned companies ahead of their 2020 annual general meetings that they must disclose more about how they are handling climate change risk.

* GOLD: Gold edged up on Thursday on safe-haven buying fuelled by worries about the fast-spreading coronavirus, but a rise in equity markets limited bullion’s gains.

* OIL: Oil prices climbed higher on Thursday ahead of an OPEC meeting in which Saudi Arabia is expected to push the group and its allies including Russia to agree to further output cuts to support the market.

* EX-DIVS: BHP Group, Evraz, Persimmon, Rio Tinto , RSA Insurance Group, Standard Chartered will trade without entitlement to its latest dividend pay-out on Thursday, trimming 16.5 points off the FTSE 100, according to Reuters calculations.

* The UK blue-chip index closed up 1.5% on Wednesday as investors bet on possible rate cuts in Europe after the U.S. Federal Reserve’s emergency move to protect the U.S. economy from the impact of the coronavirus on Tuesday.

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

TODAY’S UK PAPERS

> Financial Times

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

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