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UPDATE 1-UK Stocks-Factors to watch on Feb 11
February 11, 2014 / 7:35 AM / 4 years ago

UPDATE 1-UK Stocks-Factors to watch on Feb 11

LONDON, Feb 11 (Reuters) - Britain’s FTSE 100 index is seen opening higher on Tuesday, with futures gaining 0.4 percent by 0731 GMT ahead of the cash market open.

* The UK blue-chip index closed up 19.87 points, or 0.3 percent, at 6,591.55 points on Monday, rising for a fourth straight session.

* The first testimony to Congress by Janet Yellen, the new chair of the U.S. Federal Reserve, will dominate the market’s attention on Tuesday, with investors keen to hear what she will say about the pace of tapering of equity-friendly asset purchases following mixed U.S. jobs data in the past months.

* British retail sales rebounded last month after a weak December to record their strongest annual growth since April 2011, helped in part by a recovery in the country’s property market, a monthly industry survey showed.

* VODAFONE : The mobile operator has announced a deal with Moneygram, allowing consumers to transfer funds from 200 countries to all M-Pesa users.

Also, Vodafone could have the capacity to spend $30 billion to $40 billion on acquisitions in coming years and no deal should be too big if it makes strategic sense, Chief Executive Vittorio Colao said.

* BARCLAYS : The bank said it expects to improve its leverage ratio to at least 3.5 percent by the end of next year as it reduces the size of its balance sheet, and committed to paying out at least 40 percent of its earnings in dividends.

* BABCOCK INTERNATIONAL : The engineering services group has reaffirmed its strong fiscal position for the year ahead.

* GLENCORE XSTRATA : The company said that its copper production rose 26 percent and coal output was up 4 percent in the year to the end of December 2013, offsetting a weaker performance in zinc and lead.

* JOHNSON MATTHEY : Den Jones is to succeed Robert Macleod as group finance director.

* ASTRAZENECA : Biotech company Targacept Inc said British drugmaker AstraZeneca would return rights to several pre-clinical compounds.


> Financial Times

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