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UK Stocks - Factors to watch on Feb 23

Source: Reuters - Tue 23rd Feb 2010

Britain's FTSE 100 index is seen opening slightly higher on Tuesday, recouping the previous session's losses, with miners likely to be buoyed by firmer metals prices.

The UK blue chip index looks set to gain 8-9 points, or as much as 0.2 percent, according to financial bookmakers, after it closed down 6.10 points, or 0.1 percent, at 5,352.07 on Monday.

U.S. stocks finished flat on Monday as investors held fire ahead of a congressional testimony by Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, while scattered buying lifted shares of health insurers and banks.

After the surprise increase last week in the rate the Fed charges banks for emergency loans, the market focus is now on how Bernanke explains the move in testimony in the House and the Senate on Wednesday and Thursday.

The Governor of the Bank of England Mervyn King and colleagues will be giving evidence on UK growth and inflation prospects at the House of Commons Treasury Select Committee at 0915 GMT.

With no significant domestic data due for release on Tuesday, investors will look across the Atlantic for further clues as to the pace of economic recovery.

UK stocks to watch on Tuesday:


BA faces a costly strike after a ballot of the carrier's cabin crew staff gave overwhelming backing for industrial action.


Eric Daniels, chief executive of bailed-out Lloyds Banking Group, has waived his right to a 2009 annual bonus of more than 2 million pounds ($3.1 million),bowing to growing pressure on bank bosses.


The drugmaker began a courtroom battle to protect its biggest-selling drug,Crestor, against generic competition on Monday, a fight that may hinge on the intentions of three Japanese office staffers who worked on patent applications almost two decades ago.


The drugmaker has announced that it plans to create 1,000 jobs in the UK in response to a government plan to reduce corporation tax on revenues from patents developed in the UK to 10 percent, down from 28 percent, said the Times.


Britain's big energy suppliers should cut customer bills to reflect falls in wholesale prices and the electricity market may have to be reformed to increase competition, regulator Ofgem said on Monday.


It is anticipated that the chief executive and founder of the nightclub operator Stephen Thomas will resign from his position on Tuesday, said the Times.


The power station operator posts full-year results.


The specialty chemicals firm reports full-year results.


The specialist veterinary products group reports first-half results.


The paper maker reports full-year results.


The electrical engineer posts full-year results.


The London office landlord reports first-half results.


The industrial services group reports full-year results.


The construction group reports full-year results.


The chemicals maker reports full-year results.


The ferrochrome producer reports first-half results.

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