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UK Stocks -- Factors to watch on Oct 8

Source: Reuters - Thu 8th Oct 2009

Britain's FTSE 100 index is seen opening 39-45 points, or 0.9 percent, higher on Thursday, according to financial bookmakers, rallying after falls on Wednesday as the U.S. corporate earnings season started with a bang after good numbers from metals firm Alcoa.

The UK blue-chip index closed 29.08 points, or 0.6 percent, lower on Wednesday at 5,108.90, reflecting a mixed showing on Wall Street as investors waited for the start of the earnings seasons to give fresh direction.

After-hours in the United States, Alcoa delivered with a surprise profit on Wednesday thanks to cost cutting and higher aluminium prices after three consecutive quarterly losses, and said there are signs that key markets are stabilising, sending its stock 6 percent higher.

The bullish news from the first member of the Dow Jones Industrials to report results for the latest quarter is likely to boost Wall Street when the markets open on Thursday, and in London metals and mining stocks should benefit.

Ahead of Wall Street's restart, all eyes will be focused on the Bank of England's monetary policy decision, although no change is expected to UK interest rates or the central bank's current quantitative easing policy.

The European Central Bank also delivers its interest rate verdict at 1145 GMT, with no changes expected from the ECB council either.

No domestic economic pointers are due for release on Thursday and investors will only have the latest U.S. jobless claims and August wholesale inventories to digest this afternoon.

* US STOCKS-S&P, Nasdaq inches up as earnings season begins

* GLOBAL MARKETS-Asia shares up, Aussie dlr jumps on data

* Nikkei rises 0.5 pct in cautious trade, shippers gain

* FOREX-Dollar cedes ground as Aussie leads the pack

* TREASURIES-Bonds rally on successful 10-year auction

* Oil rebounds above $70 on weak dollar, recovery hopes

* PRECIOUS-Spot gold hits record above $1,050

* METALS-Copper up as dollar weakens, supply worries

UK stocks to watch on Thursday are:


The part-nationalised lender is sounding out investors abouta 15 billion pound ($23.81 billion) rights issue to help it avoid a government scheme to insure it against credit losses, The Financial Times reported on Thursday.


The global bank is a leading contender in the bidding for both the Asian private banking operations of Dutch lender ING and the Asian retail and commercial assets of Royal Bank of Scotland, The Financial Times said on Thursday.


The Indian-focused miner issues a first-half production update.

The global miner said on Thursday it would know within two weeks what impact the shutdown of a key shaft at its Olympic Damming in South Australia would have on copper, gold and uranium production.


Australia could be the proving ground for a new technologythat promises cheaper and quicker development of offshore gas reserves, oil major Royal Dutch Shell said on Thursday, with the firm to use its floating liquefied natural gas (FLNG) production technology to tap two of its gas fields off western Australia.


General Electric Co and Rolls Royce said on Wednesday they have halted tests on an alternate engine for the F-35 fighter jet after damage was found to some turbine blades, and no timetable was given for the tests to resume.


The bookmaker will launch a 300 million pound rights issue on Thursday, The Financial Times reported citing people familiar with the matter, after betting rival William Hill tapped shareholders for 350 million pounds earlier in the year.


The British broadcaster's long search for new leadership was dealt a blow after former Reed Elsevier chief Sir Crispin Davis ended talks to become chairman, the Financial Times reported on Thursday, citing a friend of Davis.


The mobile phones retailers issues a second-quarter trading update.


The bikes-to-car-parts retailer issues a trading update.


The staffing firm issues a third-quarter trading update.

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