April 17, 2019 / 6:43 AM / 2 months ago

UPDATE 1-UK Stocks-Factors to watch on April 17

(Adds company news items and futures)

April 17 (Reuters) - Britain’s FTSE 100 futures were down 0.13 percent at 7,405 points on Wednesday, ahead of the cash market open.

* BUNZL: Business supplies distributor Bunzl said on Wednesday first-quarter growth had slowed as grocery and retail business in its biggest market North America remained sluggish, and posted a small rise in revenue at constant currency.

* TELECOM PLUS: British multi-utility supplier Telecom Plus Plc on Wednesday warned that profit for full-year 2019 would be lower-than-expected, citing a drop in revenue in the fourth quarter because of a price cap by the country’s energy regulator and expansion-related losses.

* LONDON RAIL: London was bracing for disruption by climate-change activists to underground train services on Wednesday after protesters blocked some of London’s most important junctions including Oxford Circus and Marble Arch.

* HUNTING: British oilfield services firm Hunting said on Wednesday first-quarter core profit was in line with its goals as U.S. onshore activity remained busy, but warned of competition hurting margins at its shale-focused Titan business.

* MINERS: BHP Group , the world’s biggest miner, joined rival Rio Tinto in cutting forecast for iron ore output after a tropical cyclone hit Australia in March. Companies are also under pressure after a Brazilian court authorized Vale SA to resume operations at its Brucutu mine.

* SHELL: Saudi Arabia’s state-owned oil firm Saudi Aramco has reached an agreement to buy Shell’s shares in a refining joint venture, according to a report.

* UK MARKETING: British companies spent more on marketing in the opening quarter of 2019 despite uncertainty around Brexit, but their budgets for the rest of the year could be the most subdued since after the financial crisis, a survey showed.

* GOLD: Gold prices stayed below the key $1,280 level on Wednesday, near a four-month trough, as better-than-expected economic readings from China lifted Asian shares and sharpened risk appetite, denting the metal’s safe-haven appeal.

* OIL: Oil prices rose for a second day on Wednesday on signs of strong demand from refineries in China, the world’s second-largest crude user, amid tightening supply as producers curtail output and as oil inventories in the United States fell unexpectedly.

* The UK blue chip index hit a six month high on Tuesday, as a weaker sterling and Asia-focused financial stocks, which gained on upbeat data from China, thrust it to levels not seen since October.

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

TODAY’S UK PAPERS

> Financial Times

> Other business headlines Multimedia versions of Reuters Top News are now available for: * For Top News : topnews.reuters.com (Reporting by Pushkala Aripaka in Bengaluru)

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