(Adds futures, news items)
* BURBERRY: British luxury brand BRBY.L will continue to maintain base pay for all of its employees who are unable to fulfil their roles because of store or site closures, it said. PEARSON: British education group PSON.L said its first-quarter revenue declined 5% driven by the COVID-19 pandemic, which has caused the closure of schools and assessment centres, and said it could see a bigger hit if social distancing measures are prolonged globally. ASTRAZENECA: AZN.L and Merck (NS: PROR )'s MRK.N ovarian and breast cancer drug Lynparza met a key secondary goal in a late-stage study investigating its effectiveness in men with prostate cancer and certain genetic mutations, the British company said. SENIOR: British aerospace engineer SNR.L said it is focused on its cash position as coronavirus impacts its business, and it has put 17% of its workforce on furlough, reduced executive pay and agreed covenant relaxations with its banks. PERSIMMON: PSN.L will restart its construction sites in a phased manner from Monday, the company said, making it the third UK housebuilder in two days to announce commencement of work. FRASERS GROUP: British sportswear retailer FRAS.L , formerly Sports Direct , said it is not eligible for the Covid Corporate Financing Facility and that it had resolved all remaining matters on a 674 million euros sales tax claim with the Belgium Tax Authority. LOOKERS: UK car dealerships LOOK.L said it expected to take a 4 million pound ($4.93 million) charge in 2019, after an initial investigation found misstatement in debtor balances and "a number" of fraudulent expenses claims at one of its divisions. IG GROUP: Online trading platform IG Group IGG.L said client trading volumes surged in the fourth quarter, driven by high levels of market volatility since the last week of February due to the coronavirus crisis. HISCOX: Hundreds of British businesses, shuttered by a government lockdown to curb the coronavirus pandemic, have appointed lawyers to take on insurer Hiscox HSX.L , saying its refusal to compensate them for losses was putting their future at risk. VODAFONE: Telecom Italia (TIM) TLIT.MI and Vodafone VOD.L have completed the sale of an 8.6% combined stake in Italy's biggest mobile towers company INWIT INWT.MI as part of efforts to cut debt, the companies said. ANGLO AMERICAN: Global miner Anglo American AAL.L on Thursday cut its capital expenditure outlook for the year by about $1 billion and said it would cut costs to weather the impact of the coronavirus. GOLD: Gold eased as investors booked profits after a 1% rise in the previous session, but weak economic data from the United States and Europe due to the novel coronavirus kept bullion on track for a weekly gain. OIL: Oil prices rose, gaining further ground as some producers like Kuwait said they would move to cut output swiftly to try to counter the evaporation in global demand for fuels caused by the pandemic. The UK blue-chip index .FTSE closed up 1% on Thursday, boosted by oil majors Royal Dutch Shell RDSa.L and BP BP.L as crude prices recovered from a collapse earlier this week.
* For more on the factors affecting European stocks, please click on: LIVE/
TODAY'S UK PAPERS
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