May 2, 2019 / 6:56 AM / 4 months ago

UPDATE 1-UK Stocks-Factors to watch on May 2

(Adds company news items and futures)

May 2 (Reuters) - Britain’s FTSE 100 index is seen opening 31 points lower at 7,354 on Thursday, according to financial bookmakers, while FTSE 100 futures were down 0.25 percent ahead of the cash market open.

* COCA COLA: Soft drink bottler Coca Cola HBC AG reported a 4.4 percent rise in first-quarter net sales revenue on Thursday, driven by strong demand in emerging markets - its largest segment.

* MCBRIDE: Cleaning products maker McBride Plc said on Thursday its full-year earnings would be slightly lower than the market view, due to weaker-than-expected third-quarter sales in Germany, France and Italy.

* SMITH & NEPHEW: Medical products maker Smith & Nephew on Thursday forecast annual revenue growth at the top half of its previously estimated range after reporting a 4.4 percent rise in quarterly revenue on an underlying basis.

* SCHRODERS: British asset manager Schroders on Thursday posted a 4.2 percent rise in first-quarter assets to 424.4 billion pounds ($553.50 billion), caused by increases to its funds managed on behalf of institutional clients.

* ROLLS-ROYCE: British aero-engine maker Rolls-Royce said it remained on track to meet its full-year targets, with cash flow expected to come through in the second half of the year.

* LANCASHIRE: Lancashire Holdings Ltd reported higher first-quarter gross written premiums on Wednesday, as the property and casualty insurer paid out lower claims.

* ROYAL DUTCH: Royal Dutch Shell on Thursday reported a 2 percent fall in first quarter profits, easily beating expectations, as lower oil prices and refining profits were offset by stronger trading and higher liquefied natural gas prices.

* Reckitt: Reckitt Benckiser Group reported lower-than-expected first-quarter sales on Thursday, citing a slow start to the year in its health business.

* LLOYDS: Britain’s biggest mortgage lender Lloyds Banking Group has posted robust first quarter profits against a backdrop of cooling house prices and dwindling confidence among its small business borrowers.

* RESTAURANT GROUP: Frankie & Benny’s owner Restaurant Group Plc said on Wednesday it has appointed Andy Hornby, co-chief operating officer of GVC Holdings PLC, as its new chief executive.

* THOMAS COOK: Thomas Cook has set a deadline of May 7 for expressions of interest in its airline business, with Indigo Partners and Lufthansa among the likely bidders, sources said.

* METRO BANK: Britain’s Metro Bank revealed the damage an accounting error had inflicted on its business on Wednesday, with a halving of its quarterly profit, a drop in its capital buffers and an exodus of major business customer deposits.

* OIL: Oil prices fell on Thursday, pulled down by record U.S. crude production that led to a surge in stockpiles.

* GOLD: Gold on Thursday fell to its lowest in a little over one week, after comments from U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell dashed hopes of a near-term rate cut, boosting the dollar and treasury yields.

* EX-DIVS: London Stock Exchange, Relx, Rightmove and Unilever will trade without entitlement to their latest dividend pay-out on Thursday, trimming 4.45 points off the FTSE 100 according to Reuters calculations.

* The UK blue chip index ended 0.4 percent lower on Wednesday as oil majors dived after U.S. inventories bulked up and a rise in pound knocked exporters, but gains in Sainsbury’s and LSE following upbeat results helped cushion the fall.

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

TODAY’S UK PAPERS

> Financial Times

> Other business headlines (Reporting by Tanishaa Nadkar in Bengaluru)

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