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UK Stocks - Factors to watch on Feb 12

Source: Reuters - Fri 12th Feb 2010

Britain's FTSE 100 index is seen opening 32-38 points, or as much as 0.8 percent higher on Friday, according to financial bookmakers, tracking overnight gains on Wall Street and in Asia as investors show relief at the European Union's stance on Greece's debt problems.

The UK blue chip index closed up 29.49 points at 5,161,48 on Thursday lifted by strength in commodity issues, although banks were weaker unsettled by the lack of detail on the plans for Greece.

Any detailed proposals are likely to be discussed by EU finance ministers at meetings in Brussels early next week, and the Greek government could still baulk if aid is linked to it adopting even tougher fiscal austerity measures.

No important UK economic data is scheduled for release on Friday, so macro interest will be directed across the Atlantic.

Economists expect U.S. retail sales for January, due at 1330 GMT, to show a 0.3 percent rise after a 0.3 percent fall in December. The median forecast for sales excluding autos is for an increase of 0.5 percent in January after a 0.2 percent drop the previous month.

After that Reuters/University of Michigan Surveys of Consumers releases its preliminary February consumer sentiment index at 1455 GMT, which is expected to show a reading of 75.0 compared with 74.4 in the final January report.

* GLOBAL MARKETS-Asia shares up on EU Greece pledge, euro down

* US STOCKS-EU's backing of Greece, data boost Wall Street

* Tokyo's Nikkei share average closes up 1.29 pct

* FOREX-Euro heavy as EU disappoints, Aussie near 10-yr high

* TREASURIES-Edge up in Asia, retail sales data eyed

* Oil slips below $75, Greek bailout disappoints

* PRECIOUS-Gold slips from 1-wk high; volatile euro weighs

* METALS-Shanghai copper up 1.4 pct, LME pares gains

UK stocks to watch on Friday are:


British Government plans to introduce a watchdog to settle disputes between supermarkets and suppliers could hurt consumers, Terry Leahy chief executive of Britain's biggest grocer, Tesco, told the Financial Times in an interview.


Paul Walsh, the chief executive of the drinks company has remarked that the company may move outside the UK if it begins to find the tax regime too restrictive, the Independent said.


The part-nationalised banking group has been accused of driving up market rates for bond and equity salesmen and traders by offering "silly packages" and "guaranteed bonuses" as part of its drive to grow its capital markets business, The Daily Telegraph said.


The John Lewis Partnership said on Friday that its department store sales in the week ending Feb 6 were up 31.9 percent, flattered by very weak comparative due to snow last year.


The property firm issues a trading update.


The technology group issues a trading update.


The miner holds its annual general meeting.

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