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UK Stocks - Factors to watch on Jan 11

Source: Reuters - Tue 12th Jan 2010

Britain's FTSE 100 index is seen rising 33-35 points at the open on Monday, with miners and energy stocks looking likely to notch up strong gains after bullish Chinese data.

According to financial bookmakers, the blue chips are set to advance as much as 0.6 percent, after closing up 7.52 points, or 0.1 percent at 5,534.24 on Friday.

Asian stocks rose to a 17-month high on Monday as a strong rebound in China's exports raised optimism about the region's economic outlook.

China's exports and imports last month blew past expectations, with exports leaping 17.7 percent from a year earlier, dwarfing the 4.0 percent rise forecast by economists and breaking a 13-month streak of year-on-year declines.

U.S. stocks rose on Friday after trading in the red most of the day as investors concluded that weak December jobs data would not interrupt a trend of steady economic recovery.

No important UK data is due out on Monday, and it is a quiet week overall interms of domestic economic data. Industrial production figures for November,scheduled for release on Wednesday, will likely prove the main focus.

Ahead of that, RICS House Price Balance data for December, due on Tuesday,will be of interest, as will November's official trade figures.

Across the Atlantic, no important U.S. data is due on Monday, though markets will be interested in Alcoa's fourth-quarter results, marking the start of the latest U.S. earnings reports cycle.

Investors will be looking ahead to U.S. retail sales data on Thursday, and inflation numbers on Friday.

Japanese markets are closed on Monday for the Coming of Age Day public holiday.

British finance minister Alistair Darling said on Friday his priority was to cut the budget deficit, warning the next government spending review would be the toughest in two decades.

British finance firms saw a smaller-than-expected rise in business activity during the final quarter of 2009 and most expect a fresh decline in the next three months, according to an industry survey.

* GLOBAL MARKETS-Asia stocks at 17-mth high on China trade

* Wall St hits new highs on recovery hopes

* FOREX-Dlr nurses post-jobs losses, euro at 3-wk high

* TREASURIES Prices rise; jobs data seen keeping Fed on hold

* Oil tops $83 on hobbled dollar, bullish Chinese data

* PRECIOUS-Gold rises to 5-week high on China data, dollar

* METALS-Copper rallied after strong China trade data

UK stocks to watch on Monday:


Part-nationalised RBS has started the sale process for over 300 of its British branches, people familiar with the matter said on Sunday.


HSBC shares have the potential to rise 20 percent, due in part to its current valuation and broad geographic and business mix, Barron's said on Sunday.


Lloyds Banking Group has purchased JHP Trading after Lloyds Development Capital completed a 56 million pound buy-out, said the Daily Telegraph.


British entrepreneur Richard Branson's Virgin Money has approached U.S.private equity firm Blackstone to seek backing for a new bid for the state-owned British bank Northern Rock, the Daily Telegraph reported.


Fererro moved a step closer to gatecrashing the 10.5 billion pound bid battle for Cadbury after the Italian chocolate maker lined up a bumper loan that could be used to back an offer for the British confectionery group, the Times said.


Lord Emslie has rejected an attempt by four leading insurers to overturn Scottish legislation giving sufferers of asbestos-linked pleural plaques the right to claim damages, said the Financial Times on Saturday.

Aviva and Zurich

Aviva and Zurich said the legislation would potentially cost insurers hundreds of millions of pounds, said the newspaper.


The private equity firm is planning to raise a 1 billion pound ($1.6billion) fund to buy minority stakes in small businesses in a return to its investment roots, the Sunday Times newspaper reported.


A group of Russian oligarchs are priming their companies for multibillion-dollar London listings, the Financial Times reported.

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