UPDATE 1-UK Stocks-Factors to watch on Feb. 17

  • Reuters
  • Stock Market News
UPDATE 1-UK Stocks-Factors to watch on Feb. 17
Credit: © Reuters.

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Feb 17 (Reuters) - Britain's FTSE 100 .FTSE index is seen opening 16 points higher on Monday, according to financial bookmakers, with futures up 0.4% ahead of cash markets open.

* VOLEX: British electrical cable supplier Volex VLX.L said all four of its factories in China have restarted operations, albeit at a reduced capacity, following mandatory closures due to the coronavirus outbreak. LAURA ASHLEY: Clothing and furnishing retailer Laura Ashley ALY.L said its lender and majority shareholder were in talks regarding the company's immediate funding needs, as it reported a drop in half-year revenue. PETRA DIAMONDS: Petra Diamonds Ltd PDL.L reported a 11% fall in core earnings for the first half and warned that the virus outbreak had hurt demand in the diamond market along with a significant reduction in activity across the company's pipeline. INVESTEC: South Africa-based banking group Investec INVP.L is pressing ahead with the spin out of its asset management unit, with the renamed business Ninety One confirming its intention to float in London and Johannesburg on Monday. NMC HEALTH: NMC Health NMC.L said its founder B.R. Shetty has resigned as the Emirati healthcare group's joint non-executive chairman and H.J. Mark Tompkins will now continue as the sole chairman. JUPITER FUND MANAGEMENT: Jupiter Fund Management JUP.L said it had agreed to buy Merian Global Investors for an initial 370 million pounds ($482.52 million) in shares, and would become the second-largest provider of retail funds in Britain. MONZO: Fast-growing British digital bank Monzo plans to hire up to 500 people and forecasts it will get 5.5 million users this year, as it prepares to have another crack at charging some customers to turn a profit. RETAILERS: British consumers face higher prices and reduced availability of goods if the government fails to agree pragmatic solutions with the European Union on regulatory checks at ports in any post-Brexit deal, the retail industry's lobby group warned. ITV: British broadcaster ITV ITV.L said its popular reality show "Love Island" would return on Monday after it was taken off air following the death of former presenter Caroline Flack. INTERTEK: British product quality testing firm Intertek Group ITRK.L said on Sunday it had temporarily shut its Hong Kong Garment Centre in Kowloon from Feb. 11 for two weeks after an employee contracted the new coronavirus. RAIL PROJECT: The British government has not talked to China about helping build High Speed 2, the major rail project given the green light last week despite being billions of pounds over budget, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said on Sunday. CARNIVAL CORP: More tests are needed to confirm that an American passenger from a cruise ship docked in Cambodia, operated by Carnival (NYSE: CCL ) Corp CCL.N CCL.L unit Holland America Inc, has the new coronavirus after she tested positive in Malaysia, the MS Westerdam's operator said on Sunday. SHELL: A contractor working at Shell's RDSa.L Pulau Bukom manufacturing site in Singapore has contracted the new coronavirus, the company said on Friday, as the city-state reported its biggest jump in new cases so far. IAG (LON: ICAG ): British Airways said on Sunday its Chief Operating Officer Klaus Goersch and its Director of People Angela Williams (NYSE: WMB ) were leaving the company. JUPITER: Britain's Jupiter Fund Management JUP.L confirmed on Saturday that it is in advanced talks to buy asset manager Merian Global Investors from private equity firm TA Associates. WILLIAM HILL: British bookmaker William Hill WMH.L named cardboard maker DS Smith's SMDS.L Chief Financial Officer Adrian Marsh as its finance head. Marsh will join William Hill later this year, taking over from Ruth Prior whose departure was announced last month. BP: Mexico's oil regulator fired 18 employees on Friday that formed part of a unit responsible for supervising some 100 exploration and production contracts won at auction by private companies including U.S.-based Exxon Mobil Corp (NYSE: XOM ) XOM.N and Britain's BP BP.L . GOLD: Gold prices held near a two-week high scaled in the previous session as uncertainty prevailed over the impact of the coronavirus outbreak on the global economy. OIL: Oil prices edged lower as investors brace for economic data in Asia due this week that should give a reading on how China's coronavirus epidemic has affected oil demand. UK blue-chip shares fell for a second day on Friday after AstraZeneca and RBS (LON: RBS ) reported underwhelming results, while investors remained unsettled because of concerns over the impact of the coronavirus outbreak on the global economy. UK PAPERS

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