March 27, 2018 / 6:51 AM / a month ago

UPDATE 1-UK Stocks-Factors to watch on March 27

(Adds company news items and futures)

March 27 (Reuters) - Britain’s FTSE 100 index is seen opening 78 points higher at 6,966 on Tuesday, according to financial bookmakers, with futures up 1.4 percent ahead of the cash market open.

* GSK: GlaxoSmithKline said on Tuesday it will buy Novartis’s 36.5 percent stake in their consumer healthcare joint venture for $13 billion in cash, and will also begin a strategic review of some other businesses.

* A.G. BARR: Fizzy drinks maker A.G. Barr Plc posted an 8 percent increase in full-year revenue, “well ahead” of the total market performance, but pointed to economic volatility and uncertainty from Britain’s vote to leave the European Union.

* DIXONS CARPHONE: Britain’s Dixons Carphone Plc named on Tuesday British cycle retailer Halfords Group Plc’s HFD.L finance chief, Jonny Mason, as its finance director.

* FERGUSON: Heating and plumbing products supplier Ferguson Plc on Tuesday reported a 15 percent rise in first-half trading profit, helped by strength in its main U.S. market.

* UNITED UTILITIES: British water utility United Utilities Group Plc said on Tuesday it expected to report higher profit and revenue for the full year ending March, helped mainly by regulatory changes in how utilities charge customers.

* GALLIFORD TRY: British construction group Galliford Try said it would raise around 158 million pounds ($225 million) through a fully underwritten rights issue to cover the costs of a troubled project it had been working on with the now-defunct Carillion.

* SHELL: The heavy oil hydrocracker was shut on Monday at Royal Dutch Shell Plc’s 227,586-barrel-per-day (bpd) Convent, Louisiana, refinery, said sources familiar with plant operations.

* GOLD: Gold prices inched lower early Tuesday amid reports of trade negotiations between the United States and China, which eased fears of a trade war and improved investors’ appetite for riskier assets.

* OIL: Oil prices rose on Tuesday, pushed up by concerns that tensions in the Middle East could lead to supply disruptions.

* The UK blue chip FTSE 100 index fell 0.4 percent and closed at 6.888.7 points on Monday, reversing earlier gains and joining a broader pull-back in Europe where diplomatic tensions with Russia helped more than offset easing trade war fears.

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

TODAY’S UK PAPERS

> Financial Times

> Other business headlines Multimedia versions of Reuters Top News are now available for: * 3000 Xtra : visit topnews.session.rservices.com * For Top News : topnews.reuters.com (Reporting by Siju Varghese)

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