UPDATE 1-UK Stocks-Factors to watch on Sept 19
* Britain's FTSE 100 index is seen up 16 to 18 points, or as much as 0.3 percent on Wednesday, according to financial bookmakers. For more on the factors affecting European stocks, please click on
* The FTSE 100 closed down 25.36 points, or 0.4 percent, at 5,868.16, on Tuesday led lower by miners and banks, the stars of the recent rally fueled by the U.S. Federal Reserve's third round of quantitative easing and the ECB's bond buying plan.
* There is little in the way of economic data for investors to chew on with just the minutes from the recent Bank of England monetary policy meeting due out at 0830 GMT.
* The Bank of Japan eased monetary policy on Wednesday by boosting asset purchases by double the usual amount, as slowing global demand and mounting tensions with China have hurt chances of a near-term recovery in the export-reliant economy.
* Copper prices were little changed on Wednesday, with a U.S. stimulus-led rally wearing off as worries over Spain's debt resurface and traders reported fading interest from top consumer China with prices not far from 4-1/2-month highs.
* BP : The energy firm has been in talks to sell its 400,780 barrel-per-day Texas City, Texas, refinery to Marathon Petroleum Corp MPC.N, according to a report posted by the Financial Times on its website on Tuesday.
BP shut a Norwegian oil and gas field after a potentially dangerous leak, the company said on Tuesday, six days after the incident forced the emergency shutdown of the facility.
* UNITED UTILITIES : The utility firm rose on Tuesday amid talk that a Middle East sovereign wealth fund might be willing to pay up to 950 pence-per-share for the firm, according to media reports.
* JJB SPORTS : JD Sports Fashion has ruled itself out of a rescue bid for JJB Sports, its floundering rival, according to newspaper reports.
* SMITHS GROUP : The British technology firm reports a rise in full-year pretax profit to 497 million pounds a nd says the economic environment remains uncertain with pressures on government spending expected to continue. B ut, s ub ject to economic conditions, it is confident it can to continue to grow.
* AMEC : The oil services firm says it has acquired a 50 per cent stake in Brazilian oil & gas company Kromav Engenharia.
* REDROW : The British housebuilder beat analyst forecasts with a 70 percent rise in pretax profit in 2012 as its focus on building high margin premium family homes paid off.
However, there was no update on the offer approach from chairman and company founder Steve Morgan made at the end of August.
* ASOS : The online fashion retailer reports a 31 percent rise in fourth-quarter retail sales and says profit for 5 months ended Aug. 31, 2012 and pro forma full year, are expected to be in line with expectations.
* FRENCH CONNECTION : The fashion label reports a first-half loss before tax of 6.3 million pounds.
* NORTHGATE : The van rental company says it is trading in line with expectations after reporting vehicles on hire fell between April and September.
* Aviva, G4S and Petrofac will go ex-dividend on Wednesday, after which investors will no longer qualify for the latest dividend payout.
According to Reuters calculations at current market prices, the effect of the resulting adjustment to prices by market-makers would take 1.47 points off the index.
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(Written by David Brett; Editing by Toni Vorobyova)
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