RPT-UPDATE 1-UK Stocks-Factors to watch on Tuesday, May 1

Tue May 1, 2012 2:40am EDT

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LONDON MAY 1 (Reuters) - * Britain's FTSE 100 index is seen bouncing up as much as 9 points, or 0.2 percent, according to financial bookmakers, while central European markets are closed on Tuesday due to the Labour Day holiday.

* London's blue chip index fell 39.33 points, or 0.7 percent, to 5,737.78 on Monday, giving up 0.5 percent in April as concerns over Spain's economy and political tensions in Europe heightened, offseting a slightly better than expected start to the company earnings season.

* Copper steadied near $8,400 a tonne on Tuesday while Brent crude held steady above $119 a barrel, as brisk manufacturing data in top consumer China helped counter concerns about a recession in Spain and a fragile U.S. economy.

* Gold inched up to a two-week high, supported by weakness in the dollar after latest data indicated the U.S. economic recovery might be losing steam.

* On the macro economic data front, British manufacturing PMI is due out at 0828 GMT, which analysts expect to have fallen in April to 51.5 from 52.1 in March, after figures showed the UK economy slipped back into recession last week under the weight of austerity measures.

* Across the Atlantic, among the main data to watch out for are manufacturing and construction figures, both due for release around 1400 GMT, which investors will scrutinise after disappointing U.S. GDP numbers on Friday.

* The S&P 500 posted its first monthly decline since November in April, as stocks slipped in one of the lightest trading days of the year on signs the U.S. economy may be slowing and as a recession in Spain highlighted risks in the euro zone.

* Australia's central bank on Tuesday cut its main cash rate by a deeper-than-expected 50 basis points to 3.75 percent, against a background of benign inflation and disappointing economic growth.

* Airlines using London's Heathrow airport would pay higher landing fees to help sort out Britain's border chaos under a plan backed by David Cameron, according to various newspapers.

* More than one million UK homeowners will see their mortgage payments jump by hundreds of pounds a year from today as lenders, including two state-backed banks, raise borrowing costs, reported the Times.

* Struggling retailer British Argos is set to close a number of stores following a radical overhaul of the business, said the Telegraph.

* Britain's taxpayer-backed lenders, Lloyds and Royal Bank of Scotland, could see their profits slashed following a downgrade of their credit ratings, according to the Telegraph.

* Lloyds Banking Group is understood to have received an initial multi-billion pound bid approach for Scottish Widows, its life assurance, pensions and savings business, said the Independent.

* Lloyds said it would set aside another 375 million pounds ($608.9 million) to cover compensation for people mis-sold insurance as it reported a drop in quarterly profits.

* Man Group The hedge fund firm said clients pulled out less of their cash in the first three months of this year than in the previous quarter, raising hopes that the company may soon stabilise its business after a dire past six months.

* Aviva has joined the growing list of companies forced to bow to shareholder pressure and make last minute concessions on directors' pay, reported various newspapers.

* Royal Dutch Shell had an operational upset on Monday at its 75,000 barrel per day refinery at Sarnia, Ontario, local media reported.

* BP The oil major reported a bigger-than-expected drop in profits on Tuesday, despite an increase in crude prices, as production fell after it was forced to sell fields to pay for the oil spill.

* Lamprell The oil services firm has won a $227 mln contract for jackup rig.

* AMEC The oil services firm has won a Gulf of Mexico engineering contract.

* XSTRATA The miner reported Q1 copper production down 18 pct.

* Britain's Competition Commission has said miner Anglo American and cement maker Lafarge must sell "a significant portfolio of operations" for it to approve a planned joint venture which would otherwise damage competition.

* Rolls-Royce The engine-maker has been awarded $315 mln F-35 deal by Pratt & Whitney.

* Imperial Tobacco The world's No 4 cigarette group, was upbeat for 2012 as it set a 500 million pound ($812 million) share buyback and saw a return to sales growth as the West and Gauloises cigarette maker put its 2011 problems behind it.

* National Express The transport operator reported strong Q1 revenue growth

* Chemring said full year expectations are unchanged.

* Perform said Q1 revenue is up 45 pct and it is on track for year.

* N Brown The British internet and catalogue home shopping firm which targets mature and larger customers, posted a 2.5 percent rise in year profit, solid recent trading and said it was confident about prospects for 2012.

TODAY'S UK PAPERS

> Financial Times

> Other business headlines Multimedia versions of Reuters Top News are now available for: * 3000 Xtra : visit* BridgeStation: view story .134

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