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FTSE seen opening higher

Source: Reuters - Mon 12th Oct 2009

The FTSE 100 index is seen opening 11-21 points, or as much as 0.4 percent higher on Monday, according to financial bookmakers tracking a pre-weekend advance on Wall Street and with commodity issues expected to be supported by rises in oil and metals prices.

The blue chip index ended 7.23 points higher on Friday at 5,161.87, albeit having moved in a narrow 40 point trading range. For the week, the index was up around 3.3 percent, recovering from a fairly cautious start to the month.

Prime Minister Gordon Brown plans to detail a sale of government assets on Monday aimed at raising 3 billion pounds, a draft of a speech provided by his office showed on Sunday.

The asset sales will be carried out over the next two years, and include betting company the Tote, the cross-channel rail link between Britain and France, a portfolio of student loans and the government's stake in uranium-processing firm Urenco.

British interest rates will stay at 0.5 percent until 2011 and will not rise to 2 percent until 2014, the Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR) said on Monday.

The consultancy said in a report on the outlook for the economy that the pound could fall to $1.40 and possibly below parity with the euro as rates remain low and the government raises taxes and cuts spending to reduce its budget deficit.

No domestic economic data is due for release on Monday although investors will have key inflation and unemployment numbers to digest over the next two sessions.

U.S. stock markets will be open today although bond markets and government departments are closed for the Columbus Day federal holiday and no economic data will be released.

Japanese stock markets were closed for a public holiday.

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