LONDON Dec 28 Britain's FTSE 100 index is seen opening
the final full trading session of 2012 up 9-15 points, or 0.3 percent, on
Friday, on optimism ahead of a last-chance round of U.S. budget talks. For more
on the factors affecting European stocks, please click on
* U.S. President Barack Obama and lawmakers are set for a final round of
negotiations before a New Year's Day deadline to reach a deal and avoid major
tax hikes and spending cuts that could drag the economy into recession. Obama
and Vice President Joe Biden will meet congressional leaders from both parties
at the White House on Friday at 2000 GMT.
* The UK blue chip index closed almost flat on Thursday, 0.12 points higher
at 5,954.30 after negative comments on the budget from a top U.S. lawmaker
sparked a sell-off in New York.
But U.S. blue chips rallied late on, ending just 0.1 percent lower,
and Asian stocks moved higher on Friday reflecting hopes the eleventh-hour talks
could lead to a resolution.
* Copper prices edged higher, and Brent crude rose on Friday
on expectations the United States would resolve the 'fiscal cliff' it is facing,
which would ease concerns about weakening demand for commodities.
* ROYAL BANK OF SCOTLAND - The bank on Thursday secured the
dismissal of a lawsuit by South Korea's Woori Bank over losses from
mortgage-related investments, in a case between two big banks put under state
control following financial crises.
* No important British economic data will be released on Friday so investors
will eye a batch of U.S. pointers including December's Chicago PMI report, due
at 1445 GMT, and November pending home sales, scheduled for 1500 GMT.
* UK CORPORATE DIARY:
EURASIAN NATURAL RESOURCES holds a shareholders meeting.
MOBILE STREAMS holds its annual general meeting.
TODAY'S UK PAPERS
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* 3000 Xtra : visit* BridgeStation: view story .134(Reporting by Jon Hopkins; Editing by John Stonestreet)