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UK Stocks - Factors to watch on Feb 26

Source: Reuters - Fri 26th Feb 2010

Britain's FTSE 100 index is seen opening up 63 to 68 points, or 1.3 percent on Friday, according to financial bookmakers,recouping all of Thursday's slide after Wall Street ended well off early lows and Asia found modest gains overnight.

Commodity issues, the main fallers on Thursday, are expected to lead therebound on Friday as metals and crude oil prices bounce back, with investors also eyeing fourth-quarter growth readings for the UK and the U.S.,and results from Lloyds Banking Group.

The UK blue chip index closed 64.69 points, or 1.2 percent lower on Thursday at 5,278.23, reversing after Wednesday's 0.5 percent rally.Domestic attention on Friday will be focused on the second reading for final fourth-quarter UK GDP, due at 0930 GMT, which is expected to be revised up to a0.2 percent quarterly rise, from a previously revised 0.1 percent final increase, giving an annualised fall of 3.1 percent.

U.S. preliminary fourth-quarter GDP, due at 1330 GMT, is seen at up 5.7 percent, unchanged from the previous reading.

February GfK NOP UK consumer confidence survey, released overnight, showed an improvement for a second month, rising three points to stand at -14, 21 points up from the same month last year when Britain was deep in an 18-month recession triggered by the credit crunch.

The February Nationwide UK house price survey will be released at 0700 GMT.

This afternoon investors will have the February Chicago PMI and New York ISM reports, the final reading of the Reuters/University of Michigan consumer sentiment survey, and January U.S. existing home sale numbers to digest on the final session of the month.

* GLOBAL MARKETS-Stocks, commodities tepid as risk shunned

* US STOCKS-Wall St falters on data, Greece; Apple helps

* Nikkei rises 0.5 pct after Japan data, Toyota higher

* FOREX-Yen dips but supported by safety bids, euro firmer

* TREASURIES-Hold broad gains in Asia, data eyed

* Oil up above $78 on soft dlr, recovery doubts weigh

* PRECIOUS-Gold ticks higher after 1 pct rise; eyes data

* METALS-Copper rebounds, but expected to be rangebound

UK stocks to watch on Friday are:


The part-nationalised bank reports full-year results.

Also, according to figures released on Thursday by the Financial Ombudsman,Lloyds Banking Group attracted more complaints than any other financial services company over the last six months of 2009, The Guardian said.


Barclays has nearly completed its equity business expansion in Japan and plans on finishing a similar build-out in Hong Kong by year-end, its top Asiabanker, Matthew Ginsburg said in an interview on Friday.


BP's chief executive, Tony Hayward, and Iain Conn, head of refining and marketing, will announce in an annual strategy briefing next Tuesday that the energy firm is to carry out a shake-up at its global oil refining operations, The Times said.


The cost of a 100,000-barrel-per-day expansion of Royal Dutch Shell's Athabasca oil sands project has climbed to $14.3 billion, Chevron Corp, one of its partners, said in a filing.


The insurer's chief executive, Andy Haste said Britain's largest commercial insurer was targeting acquisitions in international and emerging markets as it looks to build on eight deals that have been completed in the past year, The Times said.


Land Securities has restarted work on its skyscraper on London's Fenchurch Street, nicknamed the "Walkie-Talkie", after it was shelved 18 months ago in thedepths of the recession, The Financial Times said.


The outsourcing group delivers fourth-quarter results.


The bookmaker posts full-year results.


The property website posts full-year results.


The engineering group reports first-half results.


The support services firm delivers full-year results.


The accident hire car company posts first-half results.


The stockbroker holds its annual general meeting.


The sports and talent management agency holds its annual general meeting.


The group holds its annual general meeting.

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