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UK Stocks - Factors to watch on Jan 28

Source: Reuters - Thu 28th Jan 2010

Britain's FTSE 100 index was seen opening sharply higher on Thursday after the U.S. Federal Reserve pledged to keep interest rates near zero and President Barack Obama struck a conciliatory tone on banks in his State of the Union speech.

According to financial bookmakers, the British blue-chip index is set to rise 51-56 points, or as much as 1.1 percent, in opening trade after closing down 59.38 points at 5,217.47 on Wednesday, its lowest close since Dec. 18.

Market analysts said the U.S. Federal Reserve's decision was not surprising,but the somewhat more optimistic tone of its statement shifted sentiment after awave of unexpected news from Washington in the past two weeks caused the stock market to buckle.

U.S. stock index futures rose in after-hours trading as Obama pushed job creation to the top of his agenda to bring down unemployment, proposing the use of $30 billion of bank bailout repayments to boost lending to small businesses.

Analysts said investors were relieved Obama's speech did not slam banks and Wall Street anew after days of heightened unease about restrictions on bank risk-taking that Obama proposed last week.

In the absence of British economic data, investor attention will be drawn to U.S. data including durable goods, the latest weekly jobless claims, and the Chicago Fed index -all due at 1330 GMT.

A further batch of U.S. earnings will also be of interest, with Microsoft, Procter & Gamble, 3M ,, AT&T, Colgate-Palmolive, Ford and Motorola among those reporting.

* Dollar hits six-month high vs euro; tech stocks up

* US STOCKS-Wall St gains on Fed's view; Apple lifts Nasdaq

* US STOCKS-Fed, techs lift Wall St; futures cheer Obama

* Nikkei rises 2 percent on upbeat earnings, Obama

* FOREX-Dollar cuts gains, yen falls after Obama speech

* TREASURIES-Prices slip after Fed statement

* Oil rebounds from six-week lows after Obama speech

* Gold mostly steady under $1,090 after Obama speech

* METALS-Metals fall on firm dollar, tightening worries

British stocks to watch on Thursday:


The confectioner has announced the declaration of a special dividend - of 10 pence (net) per Cadbury share.


The drugmaker posts full-year results.


The oil company issues a trading update.


The copper producer issues fourth-quarter output figures.


The platinum producer holds its annual general meeting.


The pay-TV group reports first-half results.


The private equity firm issues a trading update.


The heating and renewable energy services firm posts first-half results.


The home shopping firm issues a trading update.


The sportswear retailer issues a trading update.


The public-sector consultant issues a trading update.


The property investment company holds its annual general meeting.

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