May 1, 2018 / 6:49 AM / 3 months ago

UPDATE 1-UK Stocks-Factors to watch on May 1

(Adds futures, company items)

May 1 (Reuters) - Britain’s FTSE 100 index is seen opening 4 points higher on Tuesday, according to financial bookmakers, with futures up 0.05 percent ahead of the cash market open.

* JOHNSTON PRESS: Johnston Press Plc, which publishes The Scotsman and The Yorkshire Post, said Ashley Highfield resigned as its chief executive and that it promoted CFO David King as its new CEO.

* VIRGIN MONEY: British challenger bank Virgin Money on Tuesday reported strong credit performance and better-than-expected deposit growth from savers, as a string of business-boosting initiatives started to bear fruit.

* NATIONAL GRID: National Grid plc said on Tuesday it would sell its remaining 25 percent stake in Quadgas HoldCo Limited, which owns Cadent Gas for cash proceeds of about 1.2 billion pounds ($1.65 billion).

* AVIVA: British insurer Aviva said on Tuesday it had launched a 600 million pound ($825.12 million) share buyback programme, as part of a bigger 2 billion pound capital deployment plan aimed at slashing debt and boosting share earnings.

* BP: BP reported a 71 percent jump in profit in the first quarter on Tuesday, driven by higher oil and gas prices and increased production as it undergoes an era of rapid growth.

** SHELL: Royal Dutch Shell is fully committed to its gas joint venture in Iraq, after the energy major exited its oil assets in the OPEC country, and plans to boost its gas output there to 1.4 billion cubic feet (bcf) a day by 2020, a senior executive said.

** VEDANTA RESOURCES-ANGLO AMERICAN: The chairman of Vedanta Resources Plc , who is also Anglo American’s biggest shareholder, said on Monday he had convinced Anglo not to sell off key assets in South Africa.

* OIL: Oil prices extended gains on Tuesday, supported by comments from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that he was sure U.S. President Donald Trump would do “the right thing” in reviewing Iran’s nuclear deal with western powers.

* GOLD: Gold prices inched lower early on Tuesday, hovering close to a nearly six-week low touched in the previous session, as the U.S. dollar held firm near a 3-1/2-month high.

* The UK blue chip index closed 0.09 percent higher at 7,509.30 points on Monday, as British shares closed slightly higher, but the planned merger between Sainsbury’s and Asda, the UK arm of Walmart, sent shockwaves through British retail stocks as investors sought to adjust to a potentially game-changing overhaul of the industry.

* 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 Justin George Varghese)

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