March 21, 2018 / 7:49 AM / 9 months ago

UPDATE 1-UK Stocks-Factors to watch on March 21

(Adds company news items and futures)

March 21 (Reuters) - Britain’s FTSE 100 index is seen opening up 13 points on Wednesday, according to financial bookmakers, with futures 0.26 pct higher ahead of the cash market open.

* SHELL: Oil major Royal Dutch Shell said it expects to generate $6 billion to $7 billion annual organic free cash flow by 2020 for its downstream business.

* KINGFISHER: Kingfisher, Europe’s second largest home improvement retailer, beat forecasts with a 1.3 percent rise in annual profit, with a weak performance in France offset by strong growth at Screwfix in Britain and in Poland.

* FERREXPO: Iron ore pellet producer Ferrexpo raised its 2017 dividend by 150 percent on Wednesday as earnings jumped on stronger demand.

* MOTHERCARE: British baby goods retailer Mothercare Plc said on Wednesday its lenders agreed to defer a testing of its financial covenants due on March 24 and that discussions with them on the terms of its existing financial facilities were “progressing constructively”.

* VECTURA: British drugmaker Vectura reported a 17.2 percent rise in 2017 revenue on Wednesday, aided by higher demand for its asthma products Flutiform and Ultibro.

* CAMBRIDGE ANALYTICA: The suspended chief executive of UK-based political consultancy Cambridge Analytica claimed in secretly recorded video that his company played a decisive role in the 2016 election campaign of President Donald Trump, Channel 4 News reported on Tuesday.

* BP: British oil major BP will drill its first deepwater exploration well at a block it operates in the southern Gulf of Mexico during the third quarter of 2020, according to a plan approved Tuesday by Mexican oil regulator CNH.

* INFLATION: British inflation was weaker than expected in February as the impact of the 2016 Brexit vote faded, easing some of the squeeze on households’ spending power but doing little to change bets on a Bank of England rate rise in May.

* OIL: Oil prices rose on Wednesday, lifted by tensions in the Middle East and healthy demand, although rising U.S. output continued to weigh on markets.

* GOLD: Gold prices rose on Wednesday as the dollar fell as investors await the outcome of the U.S. Federal Reserve’s meeting this week for signs of the pace of monetary tightening, which could limit the demand for bullion going forward.

* The UK blue chip index closed 0.3 percent higher at 7,061.27 on Tuesday, with banks leading the way after data showed a small slowdown in inflation, while Fenner shares surged after a takeover offer from tyre maker Michelin.

* For more on the factors affecting European stocks, please click on: cpurl://apps.cp./cms/?pageId=livemarkets

TODAY’S UK PAPERS

> Financial Times

> Other business headlines Multimedia versions of Reuters Top News are now available for: * 3000 Xtra : visit topnews.session.rservices.com * For Top News : topnews.reuters.com (Reporting by Radhika Rukmangadhan in Bengaluru)

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