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UK Stocks - Factors to watch on Feb 9

Source: Reuters - Tue 9th Feb 2010

Britain's FTSE 100 index is seen opening down 37-39 points, or as much as 0.8 percent lower on Tuesday, according to financial bookmakers, reversing Monday's rally following weak showings overnight on Wall Street and in Asia as sovereign debt fears mount up.

The UK blue chip index closed 31.41 points higher, or up 0.6 percent at 5, 092.33 on Monday lifted by gains in rebounding miners and strength indefensive issues.

On Wall Street on Monday, the Dow Jones industrial average closed below 10,000 for the first time since November as investors sold bank shares dueto heightened concerns about the euro zone's debt troubles.

Concerns about the fiscal stability of Greece, Portugal and Spain have rattled global markets over the last two weeks, curbing the appetite for riskier assets.

Worries over the debt problems also hurt shares in Asia on Tuesday, with the Nikkei hitting its lowest level in two months as exporters' shares sufffered.

On the macro front overnight, the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors said its monthly house price balance - which represents the net percentage of surveyors who report higher rather than lower house prices rose to +32 in January from +30 in December.

That was well above the consensus forecast of +28 and not far from November's three-year high of +35.

But British retail sales fell in January to record the worst performance for that month in 15 years, a survey by the British Retail Consortium showed on Tuesday.

The BRC said the value of sales last month was 0.7 percent lower than a year ago when measured on a like-for-like basis. That followed a 4.2 percent annual gain in December.

December UK trade figures will be released at 0930 GMT on Tuesday, with the global trade balance expected to have reduced to -6.63 billion pounds, down from-6.784 billion pounds in November.

The non-EU trade deficit is seen rising to -3.15 billion pounds, up from -3.032 billion pounds in November.

Little significant U.S. economic data is due for release, although December wholesale inventories could attract some attention at 1500 GMT.

* GLOBAL MARKETS-Asian shares struggle, euro wins respite

* US STOCKS-Euro zone debt worries sink Dow below 10,000

* Nikkei hits 2-mth closing low, but Toyota rises

* FOREX-Euro edges up, investors look to EU summit

* TREASURIES-Bonds edge up ahead of note auction

* Oil falls under $72, euro zone worries weigh

* PRECIOUS-Gold steady but weak risk appetite weighs

* METALS-Copper ticks higher; nervous about debt, equities

UK stocks to watch on Tuesday are:


Pay-TV firm BSkyB sold a 10.4 percent stake in commercial broadcaster ITV for around 196 million pounds ($305.4 million) on Monday, to finally bring an end to a long-running legal battle.


The real estate investment trust posts third-quarter results.


The brewer issues a fourth-quarter trading update.


The tour operator issues a trading update.


AstraZeneca won U.S. approval on Monday to promote cholesterol fighter Crestor for preventing heart disease in a vast new market of people with healthy cholesterol but other heart risks.


One billion pounds of funding will be made available by Lloyds Banking Groupin the run-up to the 2012 Olympic and Paralympics Games, supporting companies involved in the global sporting event, the Financial Times said.


The Dongria Kondh tribe from eastern India has intensified its campaign to stop the mining company Vedanta from opening a Bauxite mine on Niyamgiri mountain in Orissa, India, The Guardian said.


ICAP chief executive Michael Spencer hit back at criticism of the timining of his sale of a 45 million pound stake, saying there was "no indication" that he would be forced to issue a profits warning less than four weeks after the sale, the Daily Mail said.


An unnamed leading investor has urged BAE Systems to sever all ties with controversial former chief executive a nd chairman Dick Evans who still has a lucrative consultancy role advising the defence giant on Saudi Arabia, The Daily Mail said.


The car parts supplier, is considering a bid for privately-owned retailer HobbyCraft, which describes itself as an "arts and craft superstore", the Financial Times said.


Talvivaara Mining is to investigate the recovery of uranium as a separate product from its ore body, the company said on Tuesday.


The pubs operator is in advanced talks over a 500million pound debt refinancing that could lead to the restoration of suspended dividend payments

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