LONDON MAY 1 * 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
* 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
* 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
* 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
* 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
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