UK Stocks — Factors to watch on May 4

LONDON, May 4 (BestGrowthStock) – Britain’s FTSE 100 (.FTSE: ) index is seen opening
up 2 points, or less than 0.1 percent on Tuesday, according to one financial
bookmaker, returning in cautious fashion following the long May bank holiday
weekend tracking flat Asian markets.

The UK blue chip index closed 64.55 points lower on Friday at 5,553.29, a
two-month closing low, led by weakness in banks, after disappointing results
from Barclays (BARC.L: ), and falls by miners, hurt by Australian tax plans.

Weakness in commodity issues is likely to be a depressant again on Tuesday
with crude and metal prices falling back under the influence of a stronger
dollar, concerns about tighter monetary policy in China, and a rate hike in
Australia.

Australia’s central bank raised its key cash rate by 25 basis points to 4.5
percent on Tuesday but said lending rates were now around average in a sign it
might pause its tightening cycle, at least for a while. [ID:nSGE6340JD]

On Sunday, China’s central bank said it would raise the amount of money
banks need to keep in reserves, the third such increase this year in a campaign
to absorb excess cash in the economy and stem inflation. [ID:nSGE643008]

China’s key stock index (.SSEC: ) fell to a seven-month low as investors
reacted to the latest policy tightening by the central bank following a market
holiday on Monday.

Japanese stock markets were closed again on Tuesday as the Golden Week
series of public holidays continued, and other Asian stock markets were flat
with the worries about China’s tightening offsetting the benefits of strong U.S.
data on Monday.

U.S. factory activity grew at the fastest pace in nearly six years and an
unexpected rise in construction spending lifted the main U.S. stock indices
between 1.3 and 1.5 percent higher on Monday. [ID:nN03193333]

On the macro front on Tuesday, April’s CIPS manufacturing report will be the
main domestic macro focus on Monday, due at 0828 GMT, to be followed by March
consumer credit and mortgage lending numbers from the Bank of England at 0830
GMT.
Investors’ macro attention will then switch across the Atlantic, with March
U.S. factory orders, revised durable goods, and pending home sales numbers all
due for release on Tuesday.

Greece will remain a focus after its 110 billion euro ($146.5 billion)
bailout, the biggest ever for a single country, eased fears of a near-term
sovereign debt default, helping European shares close 0.21 percent higher on
Monday (.FTEU3: )

But doubts remain whether Greece will be able to carry out the tough
austerity measures it promised, the package still needs parliamentary approvals
and leaves open the question of whether other vulnerable European countries
might also need help.
And British investors will be focused on the outcome of this Thursday’s
general election, with polls published on Monday showing that the opposition
Conservative Party is gaining ground in pivotal parliamentary seats and could
secure a narrow but outright victory. [ID:nLDE64208H]

* GLOBAL MARKETS-US data aids dollar;Greece weighs on shares [ID:nN03207278]

* US STOCKS-Strong economic data boosts Wall Street [ID:nN03222812]

* FOREX-Yen sinks to 8-1/2 mth low vs dollar; euro subdued [ID:nSGE64300Z]

* TREASURIES-Bonds fall on upbeat data, reduced Greek fears [ID:nN03222092]

* Oil falls below $86 on firm dlr, high U.S stockpiles [ID:nSGE643056]

* PRECIOUS-Gold drops after rally as dollar rises [ID:nSGE64301Q]

* METALS-LME copper hits seven-week low on China tightening [ID:nSGE643003]

UK stocks to watch on Tuesday are:

STANDARD CHARTERED (STAN.L: )

The Asia-focused bank has reported record first quarter profit (Read more your timing to make a profit.)s and income
on Tuesday as strong wholesale banking and improving consumer banking outweighed
margin pressure. [ID:nLDE64305F]

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

Shares in the two mining companies have plummeted in Australia after the
country’s government put forward proposals for a 40 percent “supertax” on
profits.

XSTRATA (XTA.L: )

Swiss commodities supplier Glencore is working on a merger with Xstrata, in
which it holds a 34.9 percent stake, that would create a global mining and
commodity trading giant worth 55 billion pounds, the Sunday Telegraph said.

BP (BP.L: )

The energy giant has indicated some progress on Monday toward capping the
underwater well that ruptured in the Gulf of Mexico almost two weeks ago,
pushing a giant oil slick toward the U.S. Gulf Coast. [ID:nN03142622]

RESOLUTION (RSL: ), PRUDENTIAL (PRU.L: )

The head of British buyout firm Resolution has lined up funding ahead of a
potential bid for Prudential’s UK assets, the Daily Telegraph reported on
Tuesday. [ID:nLDE64222H]

AIRLINES

Parts of the airspace over Britain and Northern Ireland will close on
Tuesday and operations from Irish airports will be restricted because of the
cloud of volcanic ash drifting south from Iceland that wreaked havoc on European
air travel last month. [ID:nLDE642233]

ESSAR ENERGY (ESSR.L: )

Shares in the Indian oil and gas firm start trading on the London Stock
Exchange (LSE.L: ) on Tuesday after it has raised 1.2 billion pounds, selling 23.2
percent of the company at 420 pence a share, putting the total value of the
company at 5.4 billion pounds, ensuring it a place on the FTSE 100 index at the
next reshuffle, The Times said.

PEARSON (PSON.L: )

U.S. private equity firms Warburg Pincus and Silver Lake Partners look set
to finalise the acquisition of Pearson’s International Data Corporation, having
beaten off competition from a consortium comprising rivals Kohlberg Kravis
Roberts and CVC Capital Partners, The Daily Telegraph said on Tuesday.

BT GROUP (BT.L: )

The telecoms firm is preparing to sell its stake in Tech Mahindra, an Indian
IT provider. BT owns a 30 percent share in a joint venture with the Mahindra
Group, The Sunday Times said.

LLOYDS BANKING GROUP (LLOY.L: )

Rebel shareholders in Lloyds Banking Group have increased the pressure on
chief executive Eric Daniels to step aside, The Sunday Times said.

MITCHELLS & BUTLERS (MAB.L: )

The pubs and restaurants group has hired a specialist adviser with the view
of selling at least 300 of its drink-led “wet pubs”, The Sunday Telegraph said.

CENKOS (CNKS.L: )

The Aim-listed broker has declared an interest in taking over investment
boutique Fairfax, The Independent on Sunday said.

INMARSAT (ISA.L: )

The satellite operator holds its annual general meeting.

ABERDEEN ASSET MANAGEMENT (ADN.L: )

The fund manager posts first-half results.

F&C ASSET MANAGEMENT (FCAM.L: )

The fund manager holds its annual general meeting.

G4S (GFS.L: )

The security serrvices firm issues a trading update.

RAB CAPITAL (RAB.L: )

The hedge fund firm holds its annual general meeting.

RPS GROUP (RPS.L: )

The environmental consultancy holds its annual general meeting.

Stock Market Basics

(Reporting by Jon Hopkins; Editing by Mike Nesbit)

UK Stocks — Factors to watch on May 4