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

Stock MarketsNov 04, 2020 07:20
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Nov 4 (Reuters) - Britain's FTSE 100 (.FTSE) index is seen opening 46 points higher at 5,833 on Wednesday, according to financial bookmakers, with futures down 0.90% ahead of cash market open.

Marks And Spencer: British retailer Marks and Spencer (MKS.L) slumped to a first-half loss, the first in its 94 years as a publicly listed company, after clothing sales were hammered by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Provident Financial: Doorstep lender Provident Financial Plc (PFG.L) said collection performance in its home credit business has now aligned with pre-coronavirus levels, with the company on track to meet market expectations for the year.

Mitie Group: Outsourcer Mitie Group (MTO.L) said it would now issue fewer shares to buy rival Interserve (LON:IRV)'s support services arm, lowering the deal value to 190 million pounds ($274 million), while saying its board does not plan to declare an interim dividend.

BP: British oil major BP (BP.L) is close to selling its central London headquarters for about 250 million pounds ($325.28 million) as the coronavirus pandemic has forced the company to cut costs, the Financial Times reported.

UK regulator: The British government is in talks with U.S. data analytics company Palantir Technologies Inc (PLTR.N) in an attempt to strengthen its test-and-trace program for COVID-19, the Financial Times reported.

Gold: Gold fell as the dollar strengthened after U.S. President Donald Trump grabbed an early lead in the key state of Florida, muddying the path for his Democratic rival Joe Biden.

Oil: Oil rose around 2% after industry data showed crude inventories in the United States fell sharply, but trading was choppy as the outcome of the U.S. presidential election remained unclear.

The UK blue-chip index (.FTSE) closed 2.3% higher on Tuesday, getting a boost from banks on rising bets of more stimulus measures to soften the economic blow from a new wave of coronavirus infections.

UK corporate diary:

Marks and Spencer Group Plc (MKS.L) HY results
Provident Financial Plc (PFG.L) Q3 trading statement

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

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