UK Stocks — Factors to watch on March 4

LONDON, March 4 (Reuters) – Britain’s top shares were seen gaining 21-22
points on Friday, as fears about the implications of violence in the Arab world
receded and optimism about strong U.S. employment data ahead of February
non-farm payrolls data helped lift Wall Street.

Britain’s FTSE 100 (.FTSE: Quote, Profile, Research) was seen gaining 0.4 percent after it added 1.5
percent to close at 6,005.09 on Thursday as hopes of a peace deal in Libya
dampened down recent soaring oil prices and eased fears they could derail the
global economic recovery.

Investors betting on a big gain in U.S. payrolls, due at 1330 GMT on Friday,
pushed Wall Street to its best one-day rally in three months on Thursday aided
by better than expected initial weekly jobless claims.

The median estimate is for a gain of 185,000 U.S. jobs, according to
economists polled by Reuters, but market sentiment was leaning toward a number
above 200,000, traders said.

Investors will watch Halifax British house price data at 0800 GMT, as
investors consider the outlook for the housing market as persistently above
target inflation has raised expectations for demand sapping interest rate rises.

“Confidence continues to grow that economic growth may finally start to
become self-sustaining,” Zahid Mahmood, senior dealer at London Capital Group
said.

* Asia stocks set for biggest weekly rise in 3 mths [ID:nTOE72300N]

* US STOCKS-Jobs data optimism fuels Wall St rally [ID:nN03272559]

* Nikkei rises on optimism over U.S. jobs data [ID:nTOE72300R]

* FOREX-Euro holds huge gains; dollar looks for jobs [ID:nL3E7E4073]

* Bonds brace for jobs data, yields near 2-wk high [ID:nTOE72302E]

* Brent oil holds near $115 on Libya doubts, U.S. recovery [ID:nL3E7E4075]

* METALS-LME copper lower on firm oil; eyes payrolls data [ID:nL3E7E4031]

* Gold steady Above $1,415/oz after fall, US job data eyed [ID:nL3E7E403G]

UK stocks to watch on Friday are:

WPP (WPP.L: Quote, Profile, Research)

The world’s largest advertising group, looks set to post strong full-year
results on Friday, driven by a rebound in the United States, as ad markets show
signs of a burgeoning recovery. [ID:nLDE72223N]

BSKYB (BSY.L: Quote, Profile, Research)

Shareholders in BSkyB are mobilising to force Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp
[NWSET.UL] to pay “a full and fair price” for the 61 percent of the shares it
does not own in the satellite company, press reports said.

CHAUCER (CHU.L: Quote, Profile, Research)

Market chatter on Thursday suggested that a powerful consortium comprising
Goldman Sachs and U.S. private equity firm TPG has expressed an interest in
buying the insurance underwriter, The Daily Telegraph market report said.

EASYJET (EZJ.L: Quote, Profile, Research)

The airline releases traffic data.

OCADO GROUP (OCDO.L: Quote, Profile, Research)

The online delivery firm releases Q1 trade data.

STHREE GROUP (STHR.L: Quote, Profile, Research)

The company releases Q1 trade data.

TODAY’S UK PAPERS

> Financial Times [PRESS/FT]

> Other business headlines [PRESS/GB]

(Reporting by Simon Falush)