May 20, 2020 / 6:52 AM / 16 days ago

UPDATE 1-UK Stocks-Factors to watch on May 20

(Adds company news items and futures)

May 20 (Reuters) - Britain’s FTSE 100 index is seen opening 6 points lower on Wednesday, according to financial bookmakers with futures down 0.6% ahead of cash markets open.

* ASTRAZENECA: The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved AstraZeneca Plc and Merck & Co Inc’s Lynparza as a treatment for a form of prostate cancer, the companies said in a joint statement on Wednesday.

* EXPERIAN: Experian Plc, the world’s biggest credit data company, said on Wednesday it expects first-quarter organic revenue to decline by 5% to 10% if coronavirus-related restrictions continue to impact business throughout the period.

* NINETY ONE: Asset manager Ninety One Plc, in its first set of results as a listed company, reported a 7% drop in assets under management (AUM) as the coronavirus crisis pummelled global financial markets.

* ROLLS ROYCE: Britain’s Rolls-Royce said it would cut at least 9,000 jobs from its global staff of 52,000 to adapt to the much smaller aviation market that will emerge from the coronavirus pandemic.

* SEVERN TRENT: British water supplier Severn Trent said on Wednesday it would pay a final dividend, while warning the coronavirus crisis was likely to lead to unpaid household water bills over the next year and a decline in sales to businesses.

* HSBC: HSBC Holdings expects to achieve double-digit asset growth in its newly combined wealth business in Asia Pacific in the next three years, as it looks to grab a bigger share of the growing rich population, the unit’s regional head told Reuters.

* SUPERMARKETS: British supermarkets have warned Brazil they might have to boycott its products if lawmakers there pass a contentious bill that could enable faster destruction of the Amazon rainforest.

* LOCKDOWN: Just over a third of companies in Britain believe they can fully restart operations while implementing the government’s coronavirus workplace guidance, a survey showed.

* SHELL: Royal Dutch Shell Plc’s 225,300 barrel-per-day (bpd) Norco, Louisiana, refinery is restarting full production on the hydrocracker on Tuesday, said sources familiar with plant operations.

* COMPASS: Compass Group raised 2 billion pounds ($2.5 billion) of new capital on Tuesday at a hefty discount to its market value, seeking to reduce debt as the coronavirus crisis threatens to force a scaling back of the world’s largest catering company.

* GOLD: Gold prices gained as bleak data from major economies reflected the fallout from the coronavirus crisis, while the initial euphoria over a potential COVID-19 vaccine fizzled and gave way to safe-haven demand.

* OIL: Oil prices rose amid signs of improving demand and a drawdown in U.S. crude inventories but worries over the economic fallout from the coronavirus pandemic capped gains.

* Britain’s mid-cap index climbed for the third straight session on Tuesday on hopes of a speedy recovery from a coronavirus-fuelled recession, while more UK firms moved to shore up cash reserves to ride out the slump.

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

TODAY’S UK PAPERS

> Financial Times

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

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