May 4, 2018 / 6:49 AM / a year ago

UPDATE 1-UK Stocks-Factors to watch on May 4

(Adds futures, company news items)

May 4 (Reuters) - Britain’s FTSE 100 index is seen opening 29 points higher on Friday, according to financial bookmakers, with futures up 0.4 percent ahead of the cash market open.

* NATIONAL GRID: National Grid Chief Financial Officer Andrew Bonfield is stepping down to take up a position with a U.S. public company, the British power grid operator said on Friday.

* UK-MORTGAGES: Britain’s markets watchdog proposed changes on Friday to make it easier for people to find the best mortgage after it found that nearly a third of borrowers fail the find the cheapest deal.

* IAG: British Airways-owner IAG posted a 75 percent jump in quarterly profit, boosted by favourable currency movements, in an earnings statement that made no reference to the group’s potential takeover of low-cost competitor Norwegian.

* MILLENNIUM & COPTHORNE HOTELS: British hotel operator Millennium & Copthorne Hotels said group revenue per room for the first quarter fell 3.1 percent, blaming weakness in the hotel markets in London and Europe.

* INTERCONTINENTAL HOTELS GROUP: InterContinental Hotels Group Plc on Friday posted a 3.5 percent rise in first-quarter global room revenue, helped growth in its Continental Europe markets and said it was confident in the outlook for the year ahead.

* PEARSON: British education publishing company Pearson reported a 1 percent rise in underlying revenue for its first quarter on Friday and said it was on course to meet its expectations for the year.

* HSBC: HSBC Holdings PLC posted on Friday an unexpected 4 percent drop in first-quarter pre-tax profit due to a surge in investments, missing estimates, and announced plans to initiate a new share buyback of up to $2 billion.

* BT: BT Group Plc is set to reveal plans to cut thousands more jobs as Britain's biggest telecommunications company battles to win back investors still spooked by an accounting scandal in Italy last year, FT reported.

* BP: BP Plc is weighing an acquisition of some of BHP Billiton's , energy assets as the British oil major seeks more U.S. shale, Bloomberg reported.

* GOLD: Gold prices gained on Thursday, one day after the U.S. central bank reassured investors that increases to interest rates would be gradual and as the U.S. dollar softened, with geopolitical uncertainties also providing support.

* The UK blue chip index closed down 0.54 percent at 7,502.69 points on Thursday, as a tumble in Smith & Nephew Plc’s shares and weakness across financials and health stocks dragged the FTSE 100 off a three-month high.

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


> Financial Times

> Other business headlines Multimedia versions of Reuters Top News are now available for: * 3000 Xtra : visit * For Top News : (Reporting by Sangameswaran S in Bengaluru)

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