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UPDATE 1-UK Stocks-Factors to watch on March 4
Published at 04/03/2021 at 07:43

(Adds futures, news items)

March 4 (Reuters) - Britain's FTSE 100 index is seen opening 80 points lower at 6,595 on Thursday, according to financial bookmakers, with futures down 0.3% ahead of the cash market open.

* AVIVA: Insurer Aviva posted flat operating profit of 3.2 bln pounds for 2020 and sold its remaining businesses in Italy, it said.

* WILLIAM HILL: William Hill which is being acquired by Caesars Entertainment Inc , posted a steep fall in annual adjusted pre-tax profit.

* MEGGITT: Meggitt said profit halved during 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic.

* ADMIRAL: Admiral Group posted higher full-year earnings, as it paid out fewer claims relating to car repairs and accidents, with repeated coronavirus lockdowns in the UK keeping people away from roads.

* ENTAIN: Gambling firm Entain posted an 11% rise in 2020 core earnings as it Ladbrokes and bwin businesses benefited from a rise in online betting during lockdowns.

* NEXTENERGY: NextEnergy Renewables said it was to delay its planned stock market listing in London because "a number of institutional investors require more time to complete due diligence.

* VISTRY: Vistry Group forecast a surge in 2021 profit as the housing sector stands to benefit from an extension in property tax breaks and other incentives announced in the UK budget.

* MELROSE: Melrose Industries said it has begun a sale process for its Nortek air-conditioning division as the engineering business owner posted a steep fall in its annual profit due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

* MHRA: Britain's medicines regulator said modified versions of authorised COVID-19 vaccines for variants of the coronavirus would be fast-tracked for approvals.

* CAR SALES: British new car registrations fell by roughly 36% year-on-year in February, according to preliminary data from an industry body.

* ASTRAZENECA: The Czech Republic has declined an offer to buy AstraZeneca's coronavirus vaccines from an intermediary in the United Arab Emirates, Czech officials said on Wednesday.

* BT: BT said the "super deduction" tax break for investment announced by the government on Wednesday would significantly cut its tax bill for several years.

* RIO: A U.S. judge on Wednesday quashed a bid to widen the scope of a civil lawsuit by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission that accused miner Rio Tinto of fraud at its Mozambican coal business, a court filing showed.

* SAINSBURY'S: British supermarket group Sainsbury's

plans to cut an additional 500 jobs and reduce its office space as it simplifies administrative functions for the post-pandemic era, it said on Wednesday.

* OIL: Oil prices rose for a second straight session on Thursday, as the possibility that OPEC+ producers might decide against increasing output at a key meeting later in the day lent support.

* British shares rose on Wednesday, buoyed by gains in financial, leisure and homebuilding stocks as investors cheered finance minister Rishi Sunak's budget plan.

* For more on the factors affecting European stocks, please click on:

TODAY'S UK PAPERS

> Financial Times

> Other business headlines

(Reporting by Shanima A in Bengaluru)

((shanima.a@thomsonreuters.com; Direct: +91 7760347399;))