UK Stocks — Factors to watch on April 15

LONDON, April 15 (BestGrowthStock) – Britain’s FTSE 100 (.FTSE: ) is seen opening
15-16 points higher on Thursday, as economic growth data from China added extra
shine to investor sentiment already lifted by strong U.S. results.

Financial bookmakers see the FTSE 100 rising around 0.3 percent after it
closed 0.6 percent higher on Wednesday at 5,796.25, its highest finish in 22
months.

China’s annual economic growth quickened in the first quarter to 11.9
percent, the fastest pace since 2007, benefiting from a low base of comparison
last year and the momentum imparted by massive stimulus packages.
[ID:nTOE63D091]

This, combined with forecast-beating results from JPMorgan on Wednesday and
Intel on Tuesday helped Asian shares outside Japan (.MIAPJ0000PUS: ) rise 0.4
percent and touch a near-two year high.

However, indicating that there are still clouds on the horizon, British
consumer morale suffered its biggest fall since July 2008 last month, wiping out
all the gains since the start of the year due to a sharp drop in optimism about
the next six months, a survey showed on Thursday.

The Nationwide Building Society said its monthly consumer confidence index
fell to 72 in March, the lowest since December, from a two-year high of 81 set
in February.

Britain’s opposition Conservatives have extended their lead over ruling
Labour to the highest level since the start of the election campaign, an opinion
poll showed on Wednesday. [ID:nLDE63D2GX]

* Wall Street rises on earnings, drives S&P above 1,200 [ID:nN14181235]

* GLOBAL MARKETS-China GDP, U.S. earnings propel Asian stocks[ID:nSGE63B02K]

* Nikkei rises after JPMorgan; Kawasaki Heavy gains [ID:nTOE63E02D]

* Dollar on defensive after strong Chinese data [ID:nTOE63E00Y]

* TREASURIES-Drift sideways; jobs, manufacturing data awaited[ID:nTOE63E04L]

* Oil tops $86 as Chinese economy roars ahead [ID:nSGE63E02R]

* Shanghai copper edges up; supported by China data [ID:nTOE63E00X]

* Gold tracks euro higher; palladium near 2-year high [ID:nSGE63E02E]

UK stocks to watch on Thursday are:

RIO TINTO (RIO.L: )

The global miner slightly raised its production guidance for iron ore after
posting a 39 percent jump in first-quarter output on Thursday, driven by Chinese
demand and recovery in the West. [nRIO]

BP (BP.L: )

The oil major holds its annual general meeting. It will signal at the AGM
that it will press ahead with its plan to invest in Canada’s oil sands,
according to the Financial Times. [ID:nN14165069]

The company also reported that maintenance work on a crude unit at its
455,790 barrel-per-day (bpd) Texas City, Texas refinery, would produce flaring
Wednesday through Saturday, according to a filing with Texas pollution
regulators. [ID:nWEN2753]

ROYAL DUTCH SHELL (RDSa.L: )

Iraq will invite 15 companies by the end of 2010 to bid to develop three gas
fields and Royal Dutch Shell (RDSa.L: ), Total (TOTF.PA: ) and South Korea’s KOGAS
(036460.KS: ) are favoured, an Iraqi official said on Wednesday. [ID:nLDE63D2FQ]

ROYAL BANK OF SCOTLAND (RBS.L: )

The bank is whittling down the list of suitors for its 3 billion-pound ($4.6
billion) payment processing firm, with UK payments firm Voice Commerce and other
suitors out of the running. [ID:nLDE63D27L]

BRITISH AIRWAYS (BAY.L: )

The merger between British Airways and Spain’s Iberia (IBLA.MC: ) will result
in increased access to African destinations for European and Latin American
holidaymakers, BA’s chief executive said on Wednesday. [ID:nLDE63D1UT]

EXPERIAN (EXPN.L: )

The credit checking company releases a trading update.

MONEYSUPERMARKET.COM GROUP (MONY.L: )

The price comparison website releases a trading update.

PZ CUSSONS (PZC.L: )

The soap and shampoo maker releases a trading update.

Stock Market News

(Reporting by Simon Falush)

UK Stocks — Factors to watch on April 15