UPDATE 2-UK Stocks-Factors to watch on Feb. 23
(Adds details, updates futures)
Feb 23 (Reuters) - Britain's FTSE 100 .FTSE index is seen opening 4 points higher, or up 0.05 percent on Thursday, according to Financial spreadbetters, with futures FFIc1 up 0.06 percent ahead of the cash market open.
* The blue-chip FTSE 100 index .FTSE ended up 0.4 percent at 7302.25 points, as Lloyds LLOY.L reported its highest annual profit in a decade and Unilever ULVR.L promised a far-reaching review. BARCLAYS: Barclays BARC.L reported a surprise increase in its core capital ratio on Thursday, as the key measure of financial strength rose to 12.4 percent against analysts' expectations it would only climb to 11.8 percent. BARCLAYS AFRICA: Barclays PLC BARC.L has agreed to pay Barclays Africa 12.8 billion rand ($988 million) to fund investments required to separate it from its African unit, Barclays Africa said on Thursday. LLOYDS: The British government said on Thursday it has further reduced its stake in Lloyds Banking Group LLOY.L , a day after the bank posted its highest profit since before the 2007-2009 global financial crisis. GLENCORE: Miner and trader Glencore GLEN.L reported an 18 percent increase in core profits for 2016 on Thursday and said the company had never been so well positioned, although an ill-timed coal hedge had eaten into energy profits. BAE: Britain's BAE Systems BAES.L said it expected increased defence budgets to boost its earnings by 5-10 percent this year after it met market expectations with a 7 percent rise in 2016. BAT: British American Tobacco BATS.L , the second-largest international tobacco company, reported a slight increase in full-year cigarette and tobacco sales volumes on Thursday. RELX: European information and analytics provider Relx REL.L raised its dividend by a more-than-expected 21 percent on Thursday after meeting 2016 results forecasts. CENTRICA: Centrica CNA.L , Britain's largest energy supplier, reported a 4 percent rise in annual adjusted profit on Thursday, slightly ahead of analyst estimates, and said debt levels could be low enough this year to allow an increase in its dividend. RSA: Insurer RSA RSA.L posted a 25 percent rise in 2016 operating profit to an above-forecast 655 million pounds ($814.49 million) due to strong performance in most of its core businesses, and raised its target for return on equity.
* INTU PROPERTIES: British shopping centre landlord Intu Properties INTUP.L posted an unchanged full-year NAV from last year, as values and demand for Britain's top malls stabilised against a weakening broader market following the country's vote to leave the EU. MONDI: South African paper and packaging company Mondi's MNDJ.J MNDI.L 2016 underlying profit rose, helped by good performance in all its businesses despite pricing pressure in a number of key paper grades. RATHBONE: British wealth manager Rathbone Brothers RAT.L said funds under management rose 17.1 percent in 2016 to 34.2 billion pounds ($42.55 billion), boosted by gains in the British stock market in the second half of the year. HOWDEN JOINERY: Modular kitchen maker Howden Joinery Group Plc HWDN.L reported a slower full-year revenue growth for its UK depots, dragged down by weaker consumer confidence following Britain's vote to leave the European Union. PLAYTECH: Gambling technology company Playtech Plc PTEC.L said full-year revenue rose 12.5 percent, aided by strong performance in its gaming division. BANK OF ENGLAND: Bank of England Deputy Governor Jon Cunliffe warned on Wednesday that requiring financial instruments to be cleared in a country that uses the currency in which they are denominated would bump up costs and splinter markets.
* BANK OF ENGLAND/INSURERS: EU capital rules for insurers need some tweaks but are not a deterrent to investment in infrastructure as some insurers' claim, the Bank of England said on Wednesday. PURPLEBRICKS: British online real estate agent Purplebricks Group Plc PURP.L said it intended to raise funds through a share issue to expand into the United States. AO WORLD: AO World AO.L , the British online electricals retailer, said on Wednesday its founder John Roberts had stepped down as chief executive but would remain on the board in a new executive role. OIL: U.S. oil futures rose nearly 1 percent on Thursday after data released by an industry group showed a surprise decline in U.S. crude stocks as imports fell, lending support to the view that a global glut is ending. BHP: The first attempt at an acquisition by Australia's South32 S32.AX following its spinoff from BHP Billiton BHP.AX , BLT.L has raised competition concerns over control of the local coking coal market. EX-DIVS: Carnival CCL.L , Diageo DGE.L , Easyjet EZJ.J GlaxoSmithKline GSK , Rio Tinto RIO.L and Lancashire LRE.L to go ex-dividend. According to Reuters calculations at current market prices, the effect of the resulting adjustment to prices by market-makers would take 12.3 points off the index. For more on the factors affecting European stocks, please click on: cpurl://apps.cp./cms/?pageId=livemarkets
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