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UK Stocks - Factors to watch on Sept 16

Source: Reuters - Wed 16th Sep 2009

Britain's FTSE 100 index is seen opening 26-30 points, or as much as 0.6 percent higher on Wednesday, according to financial bookmakers, reflecting gains in the U.S. and in Asia.

The FTSE 100 closed 23.28 points higher on Tuesday at 5,042.13, marking its third straight session of gains.

The UK index is up 45.7 percent since touching its March lows, though is still 6.9 percent below the level it was in mid-September 2008 before the collapse of Lehman Brothers, once the fourth-largest U.S. investment bank.

Investors will eye the UK jobless report, with claimant count unemployment seen rising by 25,000 in August, after a 24,900 increase the previous month.

The ILO unemployment rate for May to July is seen moving up to 7.9 percent,from 7.8 percent in April to June.

After that the focus will be on U.S. inflation numbers, with August CPI scheduled for release at 1230 GMT.

Federal Reserve chief Ben Bernanke said on Tuesday the recession was likely over, but the recovery would be slow and it would take time to create jobs.

"Even though from a technical perspective the recession is very likely overat this point, it's still going to feel like a very weak economy for some time" Bernanke said after addressing a Brookings Institution conference.

* Asia stocks hit 2009 highs, U.S. dollar slips

* Nikkei rises 1.6 pct, eyes on new government

* US STOCKS-Market hits 2009 highs, led by materials

* FOREX-Dollar hits 1-year low as risk-taking picks up

* TREASURIES-Retail sales sizzle leaves bonds glum

* Oil falls towards $70 as distillate inventories surge

* PRECIOUS-Gold hovers around $1,010 after dollar fall

* METALS-Copper rises after Bernanke calls end to recession

UK stocks to watch on Wednesday:


The fashion retailer reports first-half results.


The European Commission may force Lloyds Banking Group to sell all or part of its key Halifax subsidiary in compensation for the billions of pounds of state aid the group has received, the London Times reported.


Lehman Brothers Holdings said on Tuesday that Barclays Capital got a $8.2 billion "windfall profit" from excess assets it took control of in the fire sale of Lehman's U.S. brokerage business a year ago.


Temporary cabin crew working for BA have been told their contracts will be terminated at the end of October as the airline steps up its cost-cutting drive, reported The Times.


Britain's biggest coal producer is to announce plans to raise about 100 million pounds from its investors, Sky News reported on Tuesday.


The van hire company issues a trading update.


The renewable energy company posts first-half results.


The energy services group reports first-half results.


The health services firm holds its annual general meeting.


The inhaled drug specialist holds its annual general meeting.


The computer-security firm holds its annual general meeting.

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