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UK Stocks - Factors to watch on Feb 8

Source: Reuters - Tue 9th Feb 2010

Britain's FTSE 100 index is seen opening higher on Monday, rallying following a sharp decline on Friday helped by U.S. stocks recovering from early losses to end in positive territory, with commodity issues expected to bounce back as crude and metal prices rally.

According to financial bookmakers, the UK blue chip index is set to rise 14to 35 points, or as much as 0.7 percent, after closing down 78.39 points, or 1.5 percent, at 5,060.92 on Friday.

U.S. stocks erased a midday drop to end up slightly on Friday, closing out a volatile week punctuated by mixed signals from key labour market data and growing anxiety over fiscal problems in Europe.

European finance ministers tried to assure their counterparts in the Group of Seven that the euro zone's debt crisis is under control. They said they would make sure that Greece sticks with its budget cutting plans.

British investors are set to see a modest improvement in dividends in 2010 after hefty cuts last year, as companies have less need to hoard cash with earnings beginning to recover, Capita Registrars Dividend Monitor said.

Wednesday's Bank of England Inflation Report will be the week's main focus in terms of UK economic data, with nothing significant scheduled for release on Monday.

It will be a fairly quiet week on the U.S. economic data front too, though January's retail sales data due on Thursday, and Friday's University of Michigan consumer sentiment index will be of interest. No significant U.S. data is due on Monday.

* US stocks rebound, dollar gains on risk aversion

* Wall St cuts losses, closes up with techs, materials

* Nikkei drifts after hitting 2-mth low, Kirin down

* FOREX-Euro slips as eurozone fiscal woes fester

* TREASURIES-U.S. government debt rises in flight to quality

* Oil rises on bargain-hunting, eyes Euro debt woes

* PRECIOUS-Gold steadies near $1,065; gains capped

* METALS-Base metals bounce after selling; shorts, funds buy

UK stocks to watch on Monday:


Spain's Santander is investigating a plan to list its British businesses that would value the operations at 15 billion pounds ($23.6 billion), according to the Sunday Times.

Also, the idea of a global tax on banks to recapture bailout costs gained ground on Saturday, boosted by the Obama administration's latest proposals, but there was no agreement on a specific design.


Part-nationalised RBS is to face a fresh furore over its bonus payouts as a 1.3 billion pounds ($2 billion) bonus pool is likely to be signed off by the Treasury shortly, said the Sunday Times.


The bank is in talks with private equity firms interested in buying a controlling stake in its Integrated Finance unit, according to the Mail on Sunday.


A consortium of BP's shareholders has petitioned the company over its plans to invest in the controversial Canadian oil sands projects, said the Daily Telegraph.


French utility GDF Suez is mulling a revised offer for Britain's International Power, including a cash element, according to the Independent on Sunday, citing an unnamed source close to GDF.


The British telecoms carrier plans to allow its competitors to use its underground tunnel network to run high-speed broadband, the Financial Times reported on Monday.


The drugmaker has struck a deal with the commercial arm of a British charity to try and develop a new class of a "cancer metabolism" drugs.


A Nigerian militant group said on Sunday it had attacked a Shell oil pipeline in the Niger Delta but the Anglo-Dutch company said it had no reports of any such sabotage.


The company sells Shedd's Country chilled side-dish business.


The miner named Chris Campbell as president of its iron ore business to replace Ian Ashby, the company said on Monday.


National Express will be allowed to re-enter the rail franchise market intwo years' time if the Conservative Party wins this year's British general election, according to the Observer.


The miner posts full-year results.


The miner reports full-year results.


The technology firm posts full-year results.

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