RPT-UPDATE 1-UK Stocks-Factors to watch on Dec 17
LONDON Dec 17 (Reuters) - Britain's FTSE 100 index is seen opening slightly lower on Tuesday, with futures down 0.2 percent by 0734 GMT before the cash market open.
* Investors were seen avoiding big bets before a crucial policy meeting at which the U.S. Federal Reserve will consider whether to start cutting back its stimulus measures.
A majority of economists expect the Fed to begin reducing its bond buying operations in March, but a recent run of upbeat U.S. economic data along with last week's breakthrough budget deal in Washington has led some to speculate that the central bank will start the process as early as Wednesday, the conclusion of this week's two-day meeting.
* The UK blue chip index closed up 82.24 points, or 1.3 percent, at 6,522.20 points on Monday.
* British inflation data is set for release at 0930 GMT, with November consumer price inflation seen remaining at an annual rate of 2.2 percent, after an unexpectedly big fall in October.
* ROYAL BANK OF SCOTLAND : RBS has cut itself free from an 8 billion-pound ($13 billion) capital tie to the British government, it said, following recent moves to strengthen its capital base.
* RSA : The troubled insurer may have to sell its best assets, leaving it concentrated in slow-growing markets such as its British home patch, to raise up to 1 billion pounds ($1.6 billion) and safeguard its credit ratings.
* GLAXOSMITHKLINE : GlaxoSmithKline said on Tuesday it would stop paying doctors to promote its products through speaking engagements and end linking compensation for its sales representatives to the number of prescriptions doctors write.
* CABLE & WIRELESS : Shares in the telecoms group rose 3.7 percent to 49 pence on Monday. British tabloids on Tuesday attributed the move to speculation about a possible takeover offer from U.S. media group Liberty Global, which is lining up a bid worth 74 pence per share for the UK firm according to The Daily Mail. The Daily Express wrote U.S. telecoms firm AT&T is also a possible suitor.
* INMARSAT : The company said on Tuesday it has bought a maritime communications firm.
* BHP BILLITON : BHP Billiton said on Tuesday it would stop operations in the sub-level cave at its Perseverance mine due to safety concerns after a small earthquake at the Western Australian nickel mine in October.
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 For more information on Top News visit
- Malaysia says no evidence missing plane flew hours after losing contact |
- Missing jet may have strayed to west, Malaysia military says |
- White House tried to mediate dispute between Senate, CIA panel: source
- Seventh person dies after New York blast, building collapse: police
- UPDATE 1-U.S. investigators suspect missing Malaysian plane flew for hours -WSJ