UPDATE 2-UK Stocks-Factors to watch on Aug 3

Aug 3 Britain’s FTSE 100 index is seen opening flat to up by 8 points on Wednesday, according to financial bookmakers, with futures down about 0.01 percent.

* The UK blue chip index closed 48.6 points lower on Tuesday at 6645.4 points as Britain’s benchmark share index fell to a two-week low as the heavily weighted banking and energy sectors dropped.

* UK MIDCAPS: Goldman Sachs strategists said domestic-facing UK midcap stocks are not fully reflecting the worsening in the economy since the referendum.

* MONEYSUPERMARKET: Moneysupermarket.com Group Plc said Peter Plumb would step down as the price comparison website’s top boss on or before May next year.

* RBS: Banco Santander has made an offer to take over Royal Bank of Scotland’s Williams & Glyn business, a source familiar with the situation told Reuters on Tuesday.

* HSBC: HSBC said on Wednesday its core first-half profit fell 29 percent, slightly below estimates, as revenue at Europe’s biggest bank was hit by slowing economic growth in its key markets of Britain and Hong Kong.

* TULLET PREBON/ICAP: Britain’s competition watchdog Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has accepted in principle merger undertakings between Tullett Prebon Plc and ICAP.

* RIO TINTO: Global miner Rio Tinto reported its weakest first-half earnings in 12 years, down 47 percent as iron ore and copper prices fell, but the result was better than feared and it unveiled a higher-than-expected dividend.

* AGGREKO: Aggreko Plc, the world’s largest listed temporary power provider, stood by its full-year profit guidance, pinning its hopes on securing some key contract extensions and a stronger performance in its North American business in the second half.

* NEXT: Next Plc, one of Britain’s biggest clothing retailers, on Wednesday said that 2016 sales could fall by 2.5 percent, an improvement on previous guidance, but said trading remained volatile, reflecting weak demand for clothing.

* WILLIAM HILL: British bookmaker William Hill Plc said on Tuesday it bought software maker Grand Parade Ltd for 13.6 million pounds ($18 million) in cash and stock.

* CONSTRUCTION: As Britain’s construction industry reels from its sharpest downturn for seven years, it is companies that operate under longer-term contracts and have less exposure to London that are better weathering market uncertainty caused by the Brexit vote.

* UK ECONOMY: Britain’s economy will shrink this quarter and has a 50 percent chance of suffering a mild recession before the end of next year because of June’s vote to leave the European Union, an economic think tank said on Wednesday.

* RETAIL: British shop prices declined at the slowest rate since August last year, according to an industry survey published on Wednesday, adding to tentative signs that price pressures may be building since June’s Brexit vote.

* UK FCA: Britain’s markets watchdog warned financial firms on Tuesday they could be fined for improper use of unauthorised introducer firms which provide client leads as the regulator roots out pension scams.

* UK BANKS: Britain should expand fiscal policy to stimulate its economy after it voted to leave the European Union, because the Bank of England’s monetary policy has largely reached its limits and is likely to be less effective than it has been in the past, two former BoE policymakers said on Tuesday.

[Source:- Reuters]