* Britain's FTSE 100 index is seen opening up 11-12 points, or 0.2
percent higher on Thursday, according to financial bookmakers. For more on the
factors affecting European stocks, please click on
* Britain's top share index raced through the 6,000 level for the first time
in 17 months on Wednesday boosted by a last-minute budget deal in the United
States and solid global PMI data.
* Miners could see more gains after growth in China's increasingly important
services sector accelerated in December at its fastest pace in four months,
adding to signs of a modest year-end revival in the world's second-largest
* After a steady slew of robust global factory PMI data on Wednesday, the UK
is relatively quiet on the macro economic data front with just the Markit CIPS
Construction PMIs due out at 0928 with analysts expecting the figure to remain
in contraction territory.
* British house prices edged lower in December, prolonging stagnation in the
market, and a pick-up in the new year is unlikely, data from mortgage lender
Nationwide showed on Thursday.
* In the U.S. investors will keep a keen eye on jobs data out at 1330 GMT
trying to gain some perspective of the health of the jobs market ahead of the
important non-farm payrolls scheduled for release on Friday.
* INTERNATIONAL CONSOLIDATED AIRLINES : Spanish airline Iberia said
on Wednesday it has reached a preliminary agreement with pilots over plans to
restructure the loss-making airline by laying off staff and cutting salaries.
* WPP : The advertising firm acquired a 20 percent stake in Globant
costing approximately $70 million.
* NEXT < NXT.L >: Britain's No.2 clothing retailer nudged its full-year profit
forecast higher on Thursday as it posted a rise in fourth quarter sales.
* CHEMRING : The British military equipment maker a nnounces the
appointment of Steve Bowers as group f i nance director [ID:n WLA7240].
* BALFOUR BEATTY : The c onstruction firm acquires U . S . energy
storage business Subsurface Group to expand Parson Brinckerhoff's energy storage
services Business, which is forecast to generate approximately $50 million of
re v enue in 2012. [ ID:nASN0001BI]
* JOHN MENZIES : In a trading update , the aviation firm says
full-year results will be in line with its expectations, but a series of
restructuring actions across both divisions will see the company incur a
full-year exceptional charge of around 18 million pounds.[ID :nWLA7239]
W ILLIAM S INCLAIR < SNCL.L >: The British gardening supplies group sees annual
profit before tax and exceptional items slump to 0.3 million pounds from 3.2
m illion pounds in 2011.
> Financial Times
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* 3000 Xtra : visit* BridgeStation: view story .134(Written by David Brett; Editing by Francesco Canepa)