UK Stocks — Factors to watch on Monday Dec 20

LONDON, Dec 20 (BestGrowthStock) – Britain’s FTSE 100 (.FTSE: ) index is seen opening
7-10 points, or 0.2 percent lower on Monday, according to financial bookmakers,
extending Friday’s decline in tandem with weakness in Asia.

The UK blue chip index closed down 9.37 points, or 0.2 percent on Friday at
5,871.75 led lower by weak banks as worries over the impact of the Irish debt
crisis weighed on the sector.

Turnover is expected to be thin in the run up to the Christmas holiday at
the end of the week.

Asian shares eased on Monday, lead by a 0.8 percent drop on the Seoul
market, but firmer commodities limited the falls, with crude (Clc1: ) and metal
prices all higher.

Tensions on the Korean peninsula rose, with South Korea planning a
live-firing drill on Monday and North Korea having threatened to strike back if
the drill goes ahead. [ID:nNORKOR]

No British economic data will be released on Monday, so investors are likely
to focus on the final reading for British third-quarter GDP, and the publication
of minutes from the Bank of England Monetary Policy meeting for December, both
due on Wednesday.

Across the Atlantic, November’s Chicago Fed index will be released at 1330
GMT on Monday, although most of the week’s U.S. data is scheduled for Thursday,
including November personal income and consumption, durable goods, and new home
sales numbers, plus the latest weekly jobless claims.

* MARKETS-Stocks wobble as Korean tension flares up; dlr up [ID:nL3E6NK00S]

* US STOCKS-Wall St hovers at highs; profit-taking eyed [ID:nN17126093]

* Tokyo’s Nikkei share average closes down 0.85 pct [ID:nECB001127]

* FOREX-Euro pressures continue, dips to 2-week low [ID:nTOE6BJ01L]

* TREASURIES-Gain in Asia as selloff seen overdone [ID:nTOE6BJ04A]

* Oil rises on freezing weather in Europe, U.S. [ID:nL3E6NK05C]

* PRECIOUS-Gold extends gains on euro woes, ETF rise [ID:nL3E6N802W]

* METALS-Shanghai copper hits record on outlook, volume [ID:nL3E6NK03G]

UK stocks to watch on Friday are:

BP (BP.L: )

BP is about to auction its Canadian natural gas business for about 1.3
billion pounds, The Mail on Sunday said.

Also, Algeria is considering all the options on the assets which oil major
BP wants to sell, including acquiring them for itself or letting another firm
buy them, official media quoted the energy minister as saying on Sunday.
[ID:nLDE6BI0E1]

ANGLO AMERICAN (AAL.L: )

Mining company Anglo American is considering buying the Oppenheimer family’s
stake in diamond firm De Beers, the Sunday Times said without citing sources.
[ID:nLDE6BI0BU]

XSTRATA (XTA.L: ), RIO TINTO (RIO.L: )

Xstrata and Rio Tinto have both tabled bids of about 5 billion pounds for
the Colombian assets of America’s Drummond Coal (DRMND.UL: ) , The Mail on Sunday
said.

GARTMORE GROUP (GRTR.L: ), HENDERSON (HGGH.L: )

The British fund manager Gartmore Group wants to agree a rescue package from
rival Henderson before the end of the year, after the latter tabled a 344
million pounds, or 95 pence a share bid, according to weekend media reports.
[ID:nLDE6BI09P]

888 HOLDINGS (888.L: ), LADBROKES (LAD.L: )

Ladbrokes said on Sunday it was in early-stage talks about an offer for
Internet casino and poker group 888 Holdings, four years after previous
discussions stalled on worries of U.S. litigation.

The Sunday Telegraph had earlier reported, without citing sources, that
Ladbrokes’ new chief executive Richard Glynn had made an 240 million pounds
approach to 888. [ID:nLDE6BI0AS]

BSKYB (BSY.L: )

Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp (NWSA.O: ) is set to clear a hurdle in its bid to
acquire BSkyB by winning unconditional EU regulatory approval for the deal, a
source familiar with the case said on Friday. [ID:nLDE6BG1TG]

LONDON STOCK EXCHANGE (LSE.L: )

Abu Dhabi is in talks to buy a 20 percent stake in the London Stock Exchange
held by indebted neighbour Dubai, Britain’s Sunday Times said in an unattributed
report. [ID:nLDE6BI07P]

(Reporting by Jon Hopkins; Editing by Louise Heavens)

UK Stocks — Factors to watch on Monday Dec 20