Company News

UPDATE 1-UK Stocks-Factors to watch on Nov 28

(Adds futures, news items)

Nov 28 (Reuters) - Britain’s FTSE 100 index is expected to open 23 points lower at 7,407 on Thursday, according to financial bookmakers, with futures down 0.2% ahead of the cash market open.

* OCADO: British online grocer Ocado plans to open its first mini robotic warehouse, which it calls a customer fulfilment centre (CFC), in Bristol, western England, it said.

* IMMUPHARMA: British pharmaceutical firm ImmuPharma said it had signed a licensing and development agreement for Lupuzor, a first-in-class treatment for auto-immune disease Lupus, with U.S. company Avion Pharmaceuticals.

* DANSKE BANK: Danske Bank has hired Frans Woelders from Royal Bank of Scotland as its new chief operating officer and member of the executive management team, the bank said.

* GO-AHEAD: Transport company Go-Ahead Group Plc slightly lowered its expectations for its regional bus division’s annual financial performance, as it works to integrate a new Manchester bus company and faces cost pressures.

* VIRGIN MONEY UK: Virgin Money UK Plc reported a 7% fall in full-year underlying profit and suspended its dividend for the year, as the lender set aside more money to settle the PPI mis-selling scandal in Britain.

* UK HOUSE PRICES: British house prices rose more than expected in November, according to figures from mortgage lender Nationwide, suggesting next month’s national election was not putting further pressure on the market which remains sluggish.

* HSBC: HSBC aims to shift $20 billion worth of assets to a new blockchain-based custody platform by March, in one of the biggest deployments yet of the widely-hyped but still unproven technology by a global bank.

* BREXIT: Britain’s Dec. 12 election could well result in another parliament where no party commands a majority, Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s top advisor Dominic Cummings said on Wednesday.

* BREXIT: Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s lead over the opposition Labour Party has fallen to seven points ahead of the Dec. 12 election, according to a Savanta ComRes poll for the Daily Telegraph newspaper on Wednesday.

* UK AUTOMOTIVE OUTPUT: British automotive output dropped by an annual 4% in October, the 16th month out of the last 17 to record a fall, as demand from both domestic and overseas buyers decreased, according to a trade body.

* UK BUSINESS SERVICES: Profits at British professional and business services firms dropped by the most since 2011 for a second quarter running and businesses are cutting back on investment, the Confederation of British Industry said.

* OIL: Oil prices fell, extending losses from the previous session after official data showed U.S. crude and gasoline stocks rose against expectations and production hit a record.

* GOLD: Gold rose as investors bought the safe-haven metal amid new doubts about whether the United States and China will sign a trade deal after President Donald Trump signed legislation supporting protesters in Hong Kong, irking Beijing.

* EX-DIVS: International Consolidated Airlines, JD Sports Fashion , Johnson Matthey, Land Securities, National Grid , Severn Trent and Vodafone Group will trade without entitlement to their latest dividend pay-out on Thursday, trimming 8 points off the FTSE 100 according to Reuters calculations

* The UK blue-chip index hit a near four-month high on Wednesday as recent risk-on sentiment was bolstered after U.S. President Donald Trump said Washington and Beijing were close to a “phase one” trade deal, while an impressive forecast lifted BAT shares.


> Financial Times

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