LONDON Dec 5 Britain's FTSE 100 futures are up 28
points on Wednesday, or 0.5 percent, ahead of market open. The FTSE 100
index had been seen opening up 16 to 17 points, or as much as 0.3 percent
higher, according to financial bookmakers. For more on the factors affecting
European stocks, please click on
* The UK blue chip index closed 2.20 points lower on Tuesday at 5,869.04,
trading in a tight range of 35 points, as a weak domestic construction survey
and depressed growth outlook from the British Chamber of Commerce weighed on
* British finance minister George Osborne will update parliament with new
growth and budget deficit figures just after 1230 GMT, and may announce new
austerity measures even if he tries to juggle some spending around to ease the
* UK Services PMI is released at 0928 GMT, with data from the euro zone due
* In the United States, ISM non-manufacturing data for November and factory
orders for October are released at 1500 GMT.
* The copper price hits a seven week high in morning trading, boosted by
Chinese Communist Party chief Xi Jinping saying on Tuesday that China will make
policies more targeted and effective in 2013 to help with the economic recovery,
according to state television.
* HSBC : A group linked to Thailand's richest man, Dhanin
Chearavanont, has bought the global bank's entire stake in China's Ping An
Insurance for $9.38 billion.
* TESCO : The British supermarket operator has launched a strategic
review of its loss-making Fresh & Easy chain in the United States that could
lead to a sale or closure of the business.
* SAGE GROUP : The software company reports a full-year profit up 4
percent on good subscription growth.
* STAGECOACH GROUP : The transport company reports a profit of 123.7
million pounds, boosted by UK bus growth.
* POLYMETAL : Russian precious metals miner Polymetal said its
board approved payment of a special dividend of 50 cents a share, representing a
total of $191 million.
* WILLIAM HILL, SPORTING BET : Britain's biggest bookmaker
William Hill and partner GVC provisionally agreed a deal to buy
Sportingbet, cutting the proposed price after the online gaming firm's revenues
* ICAG : British Airways is in talks with a trade union over plans
to cut 400 senior cabin crew jobs, adding to pressure on parent International
Consolidated Airlines Group, which is already facing holiday season strikes at
its Iberia business.
* UK RETAILERS: British retail billionaire Philip Green is in advanced
talks with a U.S. private equity firm over the sale of a 25 percent stake in
high street chain Topshop and Topman, a source familiar with the matter told
TODAY'S UK PAPERS
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* 3000 Xtra : visit* BridgeStation: view story .134(Reporting by Alistair Smout; Editing by Toni Vorobyova)