UK Stocks-Factors to watch on Weds. May 22
LONDON May 22 (Reuters) - Britain's FTSE 100 is seen opening mixed on Wednesday with financial bookmakers calling the index to open between down by 11 points and up by 13 points. For more on the factors affecting European stocks, please click on
* Britain's blue chip share index closed within sight of its all-time high on Tuesday, lifted by mining stocks and positive corporate news from luxury retailer Burberry among others.
The FTSE 100 index ended up 48.24 points, or 0.7 percent, at 6,803.87, its highest finish since its record close of 6,950.60 in late 1999 but is expected to open slightly weaker on Wednesday while investors await U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke's testimony before Congress.
On Tuesday, two senior Federal Reserve officials played down the chances the Fed will soon signal a readiness to trim its bond buying programme, sparking gains on Wall Street.
* Asian markets rose while copper held near two-week highs and gold also gained ground on hopes of U.S. stimulus continuing.
* There is a batch of UK economic announcements due out including:
BoE Interest Rate Minutes (0830 GMT)
Public Sector Finances (0830 GMT)
April Retail Sales (0830 GMT) +2 pct y-o-y, flat m-o-m - Reuters poll
May CBI Industrial Trends Surveys (1000 GMT) -19 - Reuters poll
* In the U.S. economic releases include:
Weekly Mortgage data (1100 GMT)
April Existing home sales (1400) +1.5 percent - Reuters poll
* The following FTSE 100 companies 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 7.38 points off the index.
* BP : The oil major has stepped up appeals against what it says are unjustified compensation payments under the settlement it reached with those affected by the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill, according to the Financial Times.
* LONMIN : The miners says no agreement has been reached on forming a new union recognition agreement with AMCU. Parties have agreed to meet for a further session, if no agreement is reached the process will move to formal arbitration.
* LLOYDS BANKING GROUP : The UK lender said on Wednesday that it would be able to meet new capital requirements without having to issue new equity or contingent capital, having been informed of its position by Britain's financial regulator.
* SSE : British utility SSE said on Wednesday full-year after-tax profit rose 5.8 percent to 1.19 billion euros and increased its full-year dividend by 5.1 percent to 84.2 pence.
Estimates compiled by Thomson Reuters IBES had forecast a mean net income of 1.04 billion pounds.
* ROLLS ROYCE : The engine maker wins order to power 23 aircraft from lessor CIT and announces Trent 700 engines are to power 13 Airbus A330 aircraft.
* CABLE & WIRELESS COMMS : The telecoms firm met expectations with a 1 percent rise in full-year core earnings, and said it would cut $100 million of costs from a business now focused on the Caribbean and Central American.
* BALFOUR BEATTY : The infrastructure services firm rose on Tuesday amid vague rumours of a potential 2.4 billion pounds or 360 pence-per-share bid, with German industrial giant Siemens one name in the frame, according to the Daily Mail market report.
* INTERMEDIATE CAPITAL GROUP : Reports AUM up 13 percent for full year 2013, with adjusted pretax profit 148.3 million pounds versus 198.8 million pounds last year. It has a final dividend of 13.7 pence per share, bringing the total dividend for the year to 20.0 pence, up 5 percent on FY 2012. It says the outlook is positive, with a new CLO underway, its first for five years.
* BLINKX : The online video search engine agrees a deal to bring video to Tizen Mobile operating system.
* CARILLION : The firm wins 400 mln stg redevelopment contract.
* TOWER RESOURCES : The explorer says results at Wingat-1 well were encouraging.
* UK MAIL : The Parcel delivery company reported an 18 percent rise in full-year pretax profit as more thrift-conscious Britons look for online shopping deals.
* AFFERO MINING : The West Africa-focused miner has agreed to a $190 million cash-and-paper offer from investment group IMIC, it said on Wednesday.
TODAY'S UK PAPERS
> Financial Times
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