UK Stocks — Factors to watch on Friday Oct 15

LONDON, Oct 15 (BestGrowthStock) – Britain’s FTSE 100 (.FTSE: ) index was seen opening
7-11 points, or 0.2 percent, higher on Friday, according to financial
bookmakers, rallying after falls in the previous session with commodity issues
expected to provide some support as metal prices and crude hold steady.

The blue-chip index closed 20.14 points, or 0.4 percent, lower on Thursday
at 5,727.21, having ended at its highest closing level since late April on
Wednesday, with banks dragged down by worries about possible cash raisings.

“The rally’s pause seen in the Thursday session could simply be a reaction
to the strong rally on Wednesday and profit-taking in front of 5,800,” said
Raghee Horner, Autochartist’s chief market analyst.

“A break higher through the resistance at 5,738.50 could signal a push from
buyers and a willingness to retest the ceiling at 5,790 to 5,800. Near-term
support is just above the 5,700 level at 5,712,” Horner added.

U.S. blue chips (.DJI: ) ended flat on Thursday while broader indices fell,
with Asia equities also lower on Friday and the dollar steady ahead of a speech
by U.S. Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke.

Bernanke could provide clues on the Fed’s next policy steps in a speech on
Friday exploring central bank options when inflation is low.

Financial markets, which widely expect the U.S. central bank to begin a new
program of buying longer-term U.S. Treasury securities at its Nov. 2-3 meeting,
will look for clues about the scope of the programme. [ID:nN14141178]

Ahead of that speech, no domestic economic data were scheduled but there
will be a welter of U.S. pointers to digest, including September consumer prices
and retail sales numbers, and October’s Empire State Index and University of
Michigan consumer sentiment indexes.

U.S. CPI was expected to be up 0.2 percent on the month and 1.2 percent
higher year-on-year, after a 0.3-percent increase in August, with retail sales
seen up 0.4 percent on the month, unchanged from August’s rise.

Tech issues could get a boost from Google (GOOG.O: ) which, after Wall
Street’s close, posted above-forecast third-quarter results. [ID:nN14187391]

* GLOBAL MARKETS-Profits taken as focus shifts to Bernanke [ID:nSGE69E031]

* US STOCKS-Banks drag Wall St lower, Google up after bell [ID:nN14151264]

* Nikkei falls 0.7 pct, U.S. bank worries weigh [ID:nTOE69E020]

* FOREX-Dollar gets reprieve but may risk more downside [ID:nTOE69E02Q]

* TREASURIES-Supported in Asia on hopes of QE confirmation [ID:nTOE66S064]

* Oil edges higher towards $83 ahead of Bernanke speech [ID:nSGE69E03V]

* PRECIOUS-Gold steady ahead of U.S. data, Bernanke [ID:nSGE69E01E]

* METALS-Base metals steady; dollar seen resuming slide [ID:nSGE69E05R]

Stocks to watch on Friday are:

HSBC (HSBA.L: ) , STANDARD CHARTERED (STAN.L: )

HSBC could drop out from an $8 billion bid for South Africa’s Nedbank
(NEDJ.J: ), which is majority owned by Old Mutual (OML.L: ), and which could pave
the way for rival Standard Chartered (STAN.L: ) to get back into the auction, The
Financial Times said. [ID:nLDE69D2H2]

BHP BILLITON (BLT.L: ), RIO TINTO (RIO.L: )

The two miners are expected to pursue last-ditch talks with regulators in a
bid to save a proposed $116 billion iron ore joint venture after the project
suffered a new blow on Thursday when Germany said it would ban the planned
merger of the miners’ Western Australian iron ore operations. [ID:nSGE69E00R]

ROYAL DUTCH SHELL (RDSa.L: )

The Oil major has agreed to sell its Panamanian assets to local group
Petroleos Delta to reduce its retail presence as part of its global strategy,
Delta said on Thursday. [ID:nN14161430]

Also, Panalpina Group (PWTN.S: ) and its customer, Royal Dutch Shell Plc
(RDSa.L: ), are close to settling foreign bribery charges by U.S. regulators,
according to a Wall Street Journal report on its website on Thursday.
[ID:nN14163029]

BAE SYSYEMS (BAES.L: )

BAE Systems is looking at acquisitions to expand in three core areas:
intelligence and cybersecurity; readiness and sustainment of existing weapons
systems; and electronic systems; Linda Hudson, chief executive of the company’s
U.S. unit, told Reuters in an interview on Wednesday. [ID nN14205773].

F&C ASSET MANAGEMENT (FCAM.L>

The chief executive of F&C Asset Management has warned activist shareholder
Edward Bramson that he would jeopardise 14 billion pounds worth of business if
he increases his stake in the company, The Times said.

PANMURE GORDON (PMR.L: )

Qatar’s QInvest, Panmure Gordon’s biggest shareholder, is considering a
possible sale of its 44 percent stake in the stockbroker, The Daily Telegraph
said. [ID:nLDE69E00N]

G4S (GFS.L: )

G4S said it was in talks with a British police force to operate what it said
would be the country’s first totally privately run police cells. [ID:nLDE6951FL]

UNITED BUSINESS MEDIA (UBM.L: )

The media group holds an investor day.

COMPUTACENTER (CCC.L: )

The IT services group issues a trading update.

CHRYSALIS GROUP (CHS.L: )

The music publishing group issues a trading update.

EAGA (EAGA.L: )

The energy efficiency firm issues a trading update.

(Reporting by Jon Hopkins)

UK Stocks — Factors to watch on Friday Oct 15