July 18, 2018 / 6:55 AM / a year ago

UPDATE 1-UK Stocks-Factors to watch on July 18

(Adds company news items and futures)

July 18 (Reuters) - Britain's FTSE 100 index is seen opening 36 points higher at 7,662 on Wednesday, according to financial bookmakers, with futures up 0.37 percent ahead of the cash market open.

* EASYJET: British low cost airline easyJet upgraded its full-year guidance, forecasting that profit could soar as much as 45 percent this year, benefitting from the collapse of rivals last year and strikes at competitor Air France .

* PREMIER FOODS: Premier Foods posted a 1.7 percent increase in quarterly sales on Wednesday, fuelled by higher sales of its Mr Kipling cakes, as the company battles to retain under-fire CEO Gavin Darby at Wednesday's annual meeting.

* GVC HOLDINGS: British gambling company GVC Holdings Plc said on Wednesday its quarterly net gaming revenue rose 11 percent as the football World Cup boosted margins, volumes and value of new customer deposits.

* CLOSE BROTHERS: British lender Close Brothers Group Plc reported on Wednesday a rise in its loan book, driven by growth in its commercial and property finance businesses.

* RPC GROUP: RPC Group Plc, Europe's biggest plastics packager, reported a 5.8 percent rise in quarterly revenue on Wednesday, helped by contribution from its Astrapak moulded plastic packaging business and favourable polymer pricing.

* VEDANTA: India's southern state of Tamil Nadu will ask the nation's environment court to dismiss a Vedanta Ltd petition seeking to reopen its copper smelter, a lawyer representing the state government said on Wednesday.

* BRITAIN CONSULTANTS: Britain's anti-monopolies regulator on Wednesday laid out a series of planned reforms to the investment consultancy and fiduciary management industry to help fix a range of competition concerns.

* BHP BILLITON: Global miner BHP Billiton Ltd posted record iron ore output for fiscal 2018 on Wednesday as fourth-quarter production topped expectations and set a slightly higher target for the current year.

* RIO TINTO: Guinea is in constant talks with Rio Tinto and Chinalco to finalise a deal on the Simandou iron ore project, its mining minister said on Tuesday, adding he was confident an agreement would be reached.

* RYANAIR: Ryanair plans to cancel only 1 percent of its flights during a strike by Ireland-based pilots on Friday, but Europe's largest low-cost airline is bracing for far wider industrial action across five countries next week.

* GOLD: Gold prices on Wednesday held steady near a one-year low hit in the previous session, as the dollar firmed after Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell's U.S. economic outlook reinforced views the central bank is on track to steadily hike interest rates.

* OIL: Oil prices dropped on Wednesday after an industry group reported that U.S. crude inventories rose last week, defying analyst expectations for a significant reduction.

* The UK blue chip FTSE 100 index ended the session up 0.3 percent at 7,626.44 points on Tuesday, as encouraging results flowed in from companies including Royal Mail and TalkTalk, though uncertainty over Brexit capped gains.

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


> Financial Times

> Other business headlines (Reporting by Siju Varghese)

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