July 31, 2014 / 6:37 AM / 5 years ago

UPDATE 1-UK Stocks-Factors to watch on Thursday July 31

(Adds company news, futures)

EDINBURGH, July 31 (Reuters) - Britain’s FTSE 100 index is seen edging higher on Thursday, with futures on the index up 0.2 percent at 0630 GMT ahead of the cash market open. For more on the factors affecting European stocks, please click on

* The FTSE 100 index ended 0.5 percent weaker at 6,773.44 points, hit by a weaker mining sector led down by Chilean firm Antofagasta.

* ASTRAZENECA - AstraZeneca smashed forecasts for second-quarter sales and earnings on Thursday, demonstrating resilience after seeing off a $118 billion takeover approach from rival drugmaker Pfizer two months ago.

* LLOYDS - Lloyds Banking Group reported a 32 percent increase in underlying first-half profit, helping it absorb an increase in the cost of compensating customers mis-sold loan insurance.

* ROLLS ROYCE - Engine maker Rolls-Royce said it was on track to meet forecasts for the year, as it reported an expected 20 percent drop in first-half profit due to shrinking government defence spending and currency headwinds.

* BAE SYSTEMS - Europe’s biggest defence contractor BAE Systems posted a 7 percent fall in half-year profit, as expected, hit by lower military spending in the U.S. and said on Thursday that its outlook for 2014 was unchanged.

* ROYAL DUTCH SHELL PLC - Oil major Shell, which has been shedding assets to cut costs and streamline operations, reported a 33 percent increase in adjusted quarterly earnings after producing more liquids and selling at higher prices.

* BG GROUP - Oil and gas firm BG Group BG.L reported a 11 percent rise in second-quarter operating profit, driven by higher LNG volumes and higher realised prices in Asia and South America.

* CENTRICA - British utility Centrica CNA.L posted a 35 percent fall in operating profits during the first half of the year as mild weather in Britain led to reduced demand and extreme weather in North America increased costs for the company.

* SCHRODERS - UK fund manager Schroders said assets under management rose to a record 271.5 billion pounds ($459.35 billion) in the first half of the year, after net inflows more than offset a muted market performance.

* DIAGEO - The world’s largest distilled drinks maker by sales posted weaker-than-expected earnings and sales on Thursday, hurt by a slowdown in China and volatility in other emerging markets.

* BT - Strong demand for fibre broadband and television helped Britain’s BT report first quarter results in line with forecasts, and to keep its outlook unchanged.

* CO-OP GROUP - The restructuring of the Co-operative Group is poised to continue with the sale of its security arm in a deal that will raise money to help shore up its troubled finances, Sky reported.


> Financial Times

> Other business headlines Multimedia versions of Reuters Top News are now available for: * 3000 Xtra : visit topnews.session.rservices.com * BridgeStation: view story .134 For more information on Top News visit topnews.reuters.com (Reporting by Alistair Smout; editing by Blaise Robinson)

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