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UK Stocks -- Factors to watch on Sept 23

Source: Reuters - Wed 23rd Sep 2009

Britain's FTSE 100 index is seen opening 17-19 points or 0.4 percent higher on Wednesday, according to financial bookmakers, tracking gains on Wall Street and in Asia.

The blue-chip index closed up 8.24 points, or 0.3 percent, on Tuesday at 5,142.60 having reached a fresh 2009 intra day peak in the session at 5,189.88, resuming its recent six-session winning streak after a wobble on Monday.

Britain has probably come out of recession but the pace of recovery in 2010 will be slow, with tight credit and weak domestic demand posing obstacles to an upturn, the Confederation of British Industry said on Wednesday.

The business group said it expected the economy to have grown 0.3 percent between July and September, and forecast an expansion of 0.4 percent for the fourth quarter - an improvement from its prognosis in June that growth would not return until early next year. Investors will eye the interest rate and quantitive easing vote outcome from this month's Bank of England Monetary Policy Committee meeting, due at 0830 GMT on Wednesday, with a 9-0 decision to maintain the staus quo expected to be confirmed.

After the London close, investor attention will turn to the outcome of the latest two-day Federal Reserve Open Market Committee meeting, although no change is expected to U.S. monetary policy.

Ahead of that, investors will have the latest U.S. mortgage and refinancing indexes to digest.

Four FTSE 100 companies will trade ex-dividend on Wednesday, with Aviva, Centrica, G4S, and Petrofac knocking 1.94 points off the blue chip index.

* GLOBAL MARKETS-Dollar hits 13-mth low, Asia stocks higher

* US STOCKS-Recovery bets lift Wall St; eyes on the Fed

* FOREX-Dollar slumps to 1-yr lows before Fed, kiwi jumps

* TREASURIES-Bonds pleased with auction, fearful of Fed

* Oil falls towards $71 after bearish API oil stocks data

* Gold near 18-month high on dollar, stokes sell-off fear.

* METALS-Copper eases on shaky demand outlook

British stocks to watch on Wednesday are:


The multi-utility issues a trading update.


The two house builders are expected to launch long anticipated rights issues on Wednesday, with Barratt seen raising 700 million pounds and Redrow 150 million, according to reports.


Vodafone, which directly owns 52 percent of its Indian mobile joint venture Vodafone Essar, is buying a 6 percent stake from two of its associates for 8.62 billion rupees ($180 million), India's Economic Times reported on Wednesday.


Two independent directors are to stand down from the board of Lloyds Banking Group Carolyn McCall, chief executive of Guardian Media Group, will leave the board at the end of the year, while Philip Green, chief executive of United Utilities, will leave next month, the Times said.


Investors in the confectioner have urged the US food giant Kraft to make a firm offer of around 850 pence per share, which would value the company at 11 billion pounds, The Guardian said.


The oil major's Alaska unit has paid $1.7 million in civil fines to settle complaints that it violated state rules oil-spill control rules, Alaska officials said Tuesday.


The Cosmen family has provided a written undertaking to subscribe to the National Express 300 million pound rights issue should it fail to make a 500 pence-per-share offer for the group, the Daily Telegraph said.


The Irish-owned newspaper publisher is close to a debt-for-equity deal that would end uncertainty over its finances while allowing the O'Reillys to retain some control over the publisher, an industry source said on Tuesday.


The computer games retailer posts first-half results.


The television shopping firm reports first-half results.


The compost technology provider delivers full-year results.

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