UPDATE 1-UK Stocks-Factors to watch on Oct 17

Wed Oct 17, 2012 2:33am EDT

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* Britain's FTSE 100 index is seen opening up 4 to 7 points, or 0.1 percent, on Wednesday, according to financial bookmakers. For more on the factors affecting European stocks, please click on

* The UK blue chip index closed up 64.93 points, or 1.1 percent, at 5,870.54 on Tuesday, on the cusp of breaking out of its recent trading range, as investors welcomed a media report saying Germany could adopt a softer approach towards financial aid to Spain.

* Wall Street rallied on Tuesday, with strong earnings from diversified U.S. healthcare company Johnson & Johnson and other bellwether companies raising hopes for the rest of the U.S. reporting season.

* Ex-dividend factors will knock 1.11 points off the FTSE 100 index on Wednesday, with BAE Systems and Capital Shopping Centres both trading without their payout attractions.

* Investors will focus on UK unemployment data, at 0830 GMT, and the outcome of the October monetary policy committee meeting, also at 0830 GMT.

* Across the Atlantic, U.S. September housing starts data is set for release at 1230 GMT.

* BHP Billiton In its September-quarter activities report, BHP outlined plans to boost output by 5 percent by the end of June 2013, relying on the higher tonnages to reduce costs and cushion the impact of lower selling prices. BHP said quarterly iron ore production was steady at 39.8 million tonnes.

* BP The oil giant has set a deadline of Thursday for all bids for its stake in TNK-BP, in a move expected to elicit offers both from its oligarch partners, AAR, and from Kremlin-controlled Rosneft, the Daily Telegraph said.

* International Personal Finance said third-quarter profit is in line with last year.

* Speedy Hire said it is confident of meeting its full-year expectations.

* Cable & Wireless Communications is in advanced talks to sell its controlling stake in Macau's largest telecoms group to Citic Telecom International, the Financial Times said.

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(Reporting by Tricia Wright)

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