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UK Stocks - Factors to watch on Sept 24

Source: Reuters - Thu 24th Sep 2009

Britain's FTSE 100 is seen opening 20-28 points or 0.5 percent lower on Thursday according to financial bookmakers, tracking falls in Asia and Wall Street overnight.

The blue-chip index closed 3.23 points, or 0.1 percent, lower on Wednesday at 5,139.37 pressured by oil majors and miners after commodity prices retreated across the board.

The U.S. Federal Reserve's policymakers kept interest rates unchanged as expected but said the U.S. central bank would slow purchases of mortgage debt to extend the programme until the end of March, seen as a step towards measured withdrawal of its extraordinary support for the economy.

With no UK economic data due for release on Thursday, investors will be keeping a close eye on U.S. weekly jobless claims at 1230 GMT and U.S. existing home sales figures for August at 1400 GMT.

Sales of previously owned U.S. homes are expected to hit 5.35 million units in August after reaching 5.24 million in July, the highest since August 2007.

* GLOBAL MARKETS-Asia shrs ex-Japan down, dlr steady

* US STOCKS-Wall St drops on Fed stimulus withdrawal

* Dollar soft after bounce, high-yielders gain

* TREASURIES-Steady in Asia after post-Fed gains

* Oil extends decline toward $68 on demand concerns

* PRECIOUS-Gold bounces back to around $1,010

* METALS-Shanghai copper seen 1 pct lower at open

UK stocks to watch on Thursday are:


The oil major has requested more time to meet the terms of an agreement with federal government to improve safety at its Texas City, refinery, the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration said on Wednesday.

Meanwhile the Financial Times reported that US courts will begin hearing anantitrust case against BP in the coming weeks. AmeriGas Propane, FerrellGas, Heritage Operating and Inergy Propane allege that BP cornered the propane market in 2004 and artificially inflated heating costs in contravention of federal antitrust laws.


BT plans to expand its copper line broadband network to cover 75 per cent ofthe UK, a shift up from the present 40 per cent, by spring 2011, the Times reported. Meanwhile the Financial Times said ministers are preparing to push through a "Telephone tax" to subsidise increased broadband services, with BT expected to be the main beneficiary from the levy


Plans to make Britain's biggest banks prepare living wills so that they can be dismantled more easily in a crisis could hurt their credit ratings, the Financial Times reported.

The credit ratings agency Moody's warned that the introduction of living wills was likely to result in ratings downgrades for many banks and reinforce its view of the UK as a "low support country", where most banks receive limited government support in normal times.


The list of investors filing billion dollar claims against Lehman Brothers illustrates the global damage caused by its collapse, with Barclays Bank, Morgan Stanley, GLG Partners, The Abu Dhabi Investment Authority and the Reserve Primary Fund among the companies that took the largest losses from debt and derivatives held with Lehman Brothers, according to claims.


The pubs and restaurants group releases a trading update.

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