LONDON, Dec 31 (Reuters) - Britain’s FTSE 100 index is seen opening down 28 to 30 points, or as much as 0.5 percent, on Monday, New Year’s Eve, according to financial bookmakers, with the final trading session of 2012 due to finish at 1230 GMT. For more on the factors affecting European stocks, please click on
* The UK blue-chip index closed down 28.93 points, or 0.5 percent, at 5,925.37 points on Friday, marking its worst one-day fall since Nov. 26, reflecting worries that a stalemate in key U.S. budget talks will push the world’s largest economy to the edge of the “fiscal cliff” due to impending year-end austerity measures and tax hikes.
* Lawmakers in Washington have been struggling to reach a last-minute deal that could protect the U.S. economy from a politically induced recession that would curb global growth.
The U.S. Senate will convene at 11 a.m. Washington time (1600 GMT), to continue discussion over averting the steep tax increases and spending cuts due to kick in in the new year, but there were still significant differences between the two sides.
* Copper rose 0.7 percent in Asian trade on Monday following some upbeat manufacturing data from top metals consumer China.
The final reading for the HSBC Purchasing Managers’ Index for China rose to 51.5 in December, well above the preliminary reading of 50.9 published in the middle of the month and November’s final reading of 50.5.
A complementary December survey by China’s National Bureau of Statistics, due to be published on Tuesday, is expected to show similar signs of manufacturing strength. Economists polled by Reuters expect the official PMI to show a rise to 51.0 from 50.6 in November, expanding at its fastest pace in eight months.
* ROYAL BANK OF SCOTLAND - The part-nationalised bank is ready to take an axe to bonuses in its investment bank and boardroom in the wake of the Libor interest rate-fixing scandal, newspapers said on Monday.
* PRUDENTIAL - The insurer’s boss Tidjane Thiam is planning to review the company’s structure next year in a move that could lead to a break-up of the group, the Independent on Sunday said.
* BUMI - Financier Nat Rothschild is putting the finishing touches to a new offer for the troubled resources group as the tussle for its ownership continues, the Sunday Express said.
Bumi confirmed that Nalin Rathod will step down as its chief executive officer on December 31 to be succeeded by Nick Von Schirnding.
* TRICOR - The group said it is facing mounting pressure from its short term creditors, as it has insufficient cash to settle liabilities whilst the company awaits the outcome of a VAT tribunal, and while the directors are currently evaluating strategies to ensure the continued survival of the company, if their efforts are unsuccessful, there is a risk that the company will be placed into liquidation.
MAX PETROLEUM - The oil and gas exploration and production company focused on Kazakhstan said its ESKN-1 exploration well in the Eskene North prospect looks to have substantial oil in place though the quality is lower than seen in some of its other discoveries.
Max Petroleum also said it has secured a $90 million senior credit facility with Sberbank allowing the company to draw down up to $60 million to repay $47 million to Macquarie Bank and partially fund its ongoing shallow drilling programme. [ID: nRSe5074Ua]
* VIALOGY - The firm posted a first half loss of 2.8 million pounds.
* GASOL - The firm reported a first-half loss after tax of 1.7million pounds.
* No important British economic data will be released on Monday, and there is little scheduled for release across the Atlantic, with only December’s Dallas Fed manufacturing index, due for release at 1530 GMT.
CERES POWER holds its annual general meeting.
CROMA SECURITY SOLUTIONS holds its annual general meeting.
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