May 19, 2020 / 6:51 AM / 13 days ago

UPDATE 1-UK Stocks-Factors to watch on May 19

(Adds company news items and futures)

May 19(Reuters) - Britain’s FTSE 100 index is seen opening 9 points higher on Tuesday, according to financial bookmakers with futures up 0.56% ahead of cash markets open.

* MICRO FOCUS: Britain’s Micro Focus Intl said the coronavirus caused some customers to defer projects and delay renewals in April, resulting in a 11% decline in first half revenue.

* FRENCH CONNECTION: British retailer French Connection warned on Tuesday it could run short on cash to operate its business in the coming months without additional access to capital, saying it was in talks with several potential partners over new funding.

* TOPPS TILES: British tile and wood flooring retailer Topps Tiles said on Tuesday the coronavirus lockdown had a material impact on trading during April but the gradual re-opening of stores was generating an improving trend.

* COMPASS GROUP: The world’s largest caterer Compass Group launched a 2 billion pound ($2.44 billion) share offer on Tuesday, seeking to shore up its liquidity as the coronavirus crisis continues to keep many of its food service operations in offices and schools closed.

* IMPERIAL BRANDS: Tobacco group Imperial Brands reported slightly lower-than-expected first half revenue on Tuesday and said the impact from the COVID-19 pandemic would be more pronounced in the second half of the year.

* SSE: The owner of British energy supplier SSE Plc’s SSE.L retail division is planning to cut 2,600 jobs in the business, it said on Tuesday, citing a heavy impact from the coronavirus crisis. [nL4N2D11BX

* ASTRAZENECA: AstraZeneca Plc said it was in talks with governments around the world to strike coronovirus vaccine production deals similar to one it agreed with Britain over the weekend.

* BOE: A chorus of comments from top officials at the Bank of England about negative interest rates has revived talk that the British central bank might resort to cutting borrowing costs below zero to cushion the economy from the coronavirus shutdown.

* CHINESE FIRMS: China is urging domestic companies to look at listing in London, several sources told Reuters, as the country aims to revive deals under a Stock Connect scheme and strengthen overseas ties in the wake of the coronavirus crisis.

* GOLD: Gold prices inched up, supported by strained Sino-U.S. relations and a dismal global economic outlook, although positive news from an early-stage trial for a coronavirus vaccine spurred some risk appetite and capped the metal’s gains.

* OIL: Oil prices were mixed, with Brent pulling back from an early gain on profit-taking, while U.S. crude extended its rally amid signs that producers are cutting output as promised just as demand picks up on a resumption of economic activity.

* Britain’s FTSE 100 index recorded its strongest performance since late March on Monday as investors bet on a faster recovery from a coronavirus-driven recession.

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

TODAY’S UK PAPERS

> Financial Times

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

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