April 29, 2014 / 6:00 AM / in 4 years

UK Stocks-Factors to watch on April 29

LONDON, April 29 (Reuters) - Britain’s FTSE 100 index is seen opening 7 to 10 points higher, or up as much as 0.2 percent, on Tuesday, according to financial bookmakers. For more on the factors affecting European stocks, please click on

* June futures for the index were up 0.3 percent by 0630 GMT.

* The UK blue chip index closed 14.47 points, or 0.2 percent, higher at 6,700.16 points in the previous session.

* Britain’s economy is likely to have come within a whisker of finally recovering its pre-recession size when data is released at 0830 GMT. Gross domestic product figures are also likely to show Britain notched up its fastest economic growth in nearly four years in the first three months of 2014.

* BP - The British oil firm posted quarterly profit slightly above forecasts and upped its dividend for the second time in six months, in line with a pledge made earlier this year to focus on returning more cash to shareholders.

* WHITBREAD - The owner of Britain’s Premier Inn hotel and Costa Coffee chains posted a better-than-expected 16.5 percent rise in full-year profit and said trading in the first two months of its new year had started well.

* ST. JAMES‘S PLACE - British wealth manager St. James’s Place said it had started the year strongly, taking in 1.2 billion pounds ($2.02 billion) in new money, up 26 percent on the year earlier.

* BRITISH LAND COMPANY - The company said it sold two retail parks for 78 million sterling ($131.10 million), adding that over the last 12 months, it had sold 386 million sterling of retail assets.

* BRITISH AMERICAN TOBACCO - The company expects compliance with new European regulation on cigarettes to cost it 100 million to 200 million pounds over the next two years as it upgrades its machines to meet new packaging rules.

* SHIRE - Allergan Inc, facing an unsolicited bid from Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc, is preparing to approach Shire again with a potential takeover offer after being rebuffed in recent months, people familiar with the matter said on Monday.

* BARCLAYS - Three U.S.-based former Barclays traders will be charged by Britain’s Serious Fraud Office as part of its probe into the alleged manipulation of the Libor interbank rate, the Financial Times reported.

* Brent crude held steady above $108 a barrel after posting its biggest daily fall in nearly a month on an imminent rise in Libyan exports, while investors shrugged off more U.S. sanctions on Russia.

* London copper steadied but was below a near two-month high, underpinned by tight supply in China, while top performer nickel was held below near 15-month highs on fading momentum ahead of a slew of holidays in Asia this week.


> Financial Times

> Other business headlines Multimedia versions of Reuters Top News are now available for: * 3000 Xtra : visit topnews.session.rservices.com * BridgeStation: view story .134 For more information on Top News visit topnews.reuters.com ($1 = 0.5950 British Pounds) (Reporting by Atul Prakash; Editing by Francesco Canepa)

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