January 10, 2014 / 7:35 AM / 4 years ago

UPDATE 2-UK Stocks-Factors to watch on Jan. 10

LONDON, Jan 10 (Reuters) - Britain’s FTSE 100 index is seen opening up by 21 to 24 points, or 0.4 percent, on Friday according to financial bookmakers.

* The UK blue chip index fell by 0.5 percent, or 30.44 points, to 6,691.34 points on Thursday.

* On the macroeconomic front, U.S. non-farm payrolls data is due out at 1330 GMT. A Reuters survey of economists this week forecast that the non-farm payrolls probably rose by 196,000 jobs last month, slightly below November’s 203,000 gain, but a touch above the monthly average for the three months through November.

* CHINESE ECONOMY: China’s export growth slowed more than expected in December due to a higher comparison base a year earlier and a clamp-down on speculative activities disguised as export deals, missing the official target on foreign trade. However, Chinese import data grew and beat forecasts.

* ALCOA /MINING COMPANIES: Shares in European mining and steel companies will be in the spotlight after U.S. aluminium major Alcoa Inc posted a massive quarterly loss after the bell on Wall Street on Thursday.

Alcoa, which kick-started the U.S. quarterly earnings season, also issued an outlook for stagnant growth in global aluminum demand. Its shares fell 4 percent in after-hours trade.

* TULLOW OIL : State-controlled Norwegian energy firm Statoil is studying overseas acquisitions to reduce its focus on Norway and Tullow Oil is among targets it is studying, Bloomberg reported late on Thursday, quoting unnamed company sources.

* JD SPORTS : The sportswear retailer said it was on track to post results in line with market expectations and added it had strong Christmas trading.

* SHIRE : The healthcare group extended its tender offer for ViroPharma.

* REXAM : Montagu Private Equity has entered advanced talks with Rexam to buy the British beverage can maker’s healthcare packaging unit, two people familiar with the transaction told Reuters.

* CINEWORLD : British cinema operator CineWorld Group announced plans to combine with rival Cinema City International. Cineworld Group, responding to a report it is close to buying Warsaw-listed Cinema City International’s (CCI) movie theatre operations, also confirmed it was in advanced talks.

* GULFSANDS : The oil group said its third onshore Morocco well had proven to be a dry hole.

* PERFORM : Perform, which owns digital rights through contracts relating to more than 200 events, said its chief financial officer was stepping down.

* UK BANKS/FINES: Britain’s biggest banks have so far paid out only 158.6 million pounds ($261.1 million) of the 3 billion pounds they have set aside to compensate small firms mis-sold complex interest rate hedging products, the financial regulator said.

* UK RETAIL SECTOR: British retail sales growth slowed in December despite signs of strong consumer confidence, industry data showed on Friday, raising questions about the durability of the recovery.

* UK CONSTRUCTION SECTOR: British construction firms saw record growth in work in the last three months of 2013 and expect similarly strong growth in 2014, an industry survey showed on Friday, giving hope for ongoing economic recovery.


> Financial Times

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