February 14, 2020 / 7:54 AM / 12 days ago

UPDATE 1-UK Stocks-Factors to watch on Feb. 14

(Adds company news items and futures.)

Feb 14 (Reuters) - Britain’s FTSE 100 index is seen opening 10 points higher on Friday, according to financial bookmakers, with futures up 0.2% ahead of the cash market open.

* RBS: Royal Bank of Scotland reported a better-than-expected pre-tax profit of 4.2 billion pounds ($5.48 billion), as Chief Executive Officer Alison Rose set out a new strategy including a planned renaming of the taxpayer-backed group to its biggest brand NatWest.

* SHELL: Shell said it had identified an employee at its main Singapore office who had been in contact with a coronavirus case and had advised other staff close to him to work from home.

* ASTRAZENECA: AstraZeneca expects 2020 revenue growth in the high single-digit to low double-digit percentages, including a hit it now expects from the coronavirus outbreak in China, its second biggest market, the British drugmaker said.

* EI GROUP/STONEGATE: The UK’s competition watchdog said it will not be referring the takeover of Ei Group by Slug and Lettuce owner Stonegate to an in-depth investigation.

* OIL: Oil prices were steady, but set for their first weekly gain in six weeks on the assumption that major producers will implement deeper output cuts to offset slowing demand in China caused by the coronavirus epidemic.

* GOLD: Gold eased from an over one-week peak as risk sentiment improved on hopes of global measures to soften the impact of the coronavirus outbreak, but a surge in new cases capped bullion’s losses and kept it on track for a weekly gain.

* London’s blue-chip index fell on Thursday after two successive days of gains, dragged down by exporters which were hurt by a stronger pound as investors positioned for a higher-spending budget next month under a new British finance minister.

TODAY’S UK PAPERS

> Financial Times

> Other business headlines (Reporting by Shanima A and Samantha Machado in Bengaluru; Editing by Arun Koyyur and Shounak Dasgupta)

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