UK Stocks — Factors to watch on Thursday Dec 16

LONDON, Dec 16 (BestGrowthStock) – Britain’s FTSE 100 (.FTSE: ) index is seen opening
up 1 to 3 points, or as much as 0.1 percent on Thursday, according to financial
bookmakers, marking time after weaker showings on Wall Street and in Asia, with
future and options expiries likely to lead to volatile trading conditions.

The UK blue chip index ended down 9.03 points, or 0.2 percent on Wednesday
at 5,882.18, snapping a four-session winning streak, having finished at its
highest close for 30 months on Tuesday.

Quadruple-witching expiries of index and individual company futures and
options will occur around 1000 GMT in London on Thursday.

British retail sales data at 0930 GMT will be the main macroeconomic focus
on Thursday, with growth of 0.4 percent expected in November, after a 0.5
percent rise in October, giving a year-on-year increase of 0.7 percent, after a
0.1 percent fall in the previous month.

Across the Atlantic, the latest U.S. weekly jobless claims numbers will be
released at 1330 GMT together with November housing starts, while December’s
Philly Fed index will be released at 1500 GMT.

European Union leaders meet on Thursday to try to agree the next steps in
tackling a year-long debt crisis that has consumed Greece and Ireland and
threatens to spread to Portugal and Spain. [ID:nLDE6BE29I]

“Unless the market can find its footing back above 5,900 the technical
indications are for a corrective move from here, with key support levels at
5,850 and 5,790 likely to be tested on any further profit-taking action,” said
Jonah S. Ford, analyst at Autochartist.

“The breakout of the Rising Wedge chart pattern, if successful, portends a
downside price target ranging from 5,841 to 5,820 in the near term.”

* GLOBAL MARKETS-Euro steadies before EU meet, Treasuries up [ID:nL3E6NG03Q]

* Wall St slips in another late sell-off, dollar gains [ID:nN15169936]

* Tokyo’s Nikkei share average closes up 0.01 pct [ID:nECB001115]

* FOREX-Dollar firm but lacks punch, euro drifts at lows [ID:nTOE6BF01T]

* TREASURIES-Some reprieve in Asia near technical support [ID:nTOE6BF04J]

* Oil prices under pressure from Euro zone debt concerns [ID:nL3E6NG02T]

* PRECIOUS-Gold flat on steady dollar, physical buying [ID:nL3E6NG01R]

* METALS-Shanghai copper lower after dollar drags LME down [ID:nL3E6NG03D]

UK stocks to watch on Thursday are:

BP (BP.L: )

The Obama administration on Wednesday launched a legal battle against BP and
its partners by suing them for the worst offshore oil spill in U.S. history,
which could cost the companies billions of dollars. [ID:nN15162968]

AUTONOMY (AUTN.L: )

Shares in the software company gained on Wednesday on speculation that it
could be the subject of a bid from Oracle (ORCL.O: ) or Microsoft (MSFT.O: ) next
year, the Daily Mail market report said.

SEVERN TRENT (SVT.L: )

The utility group holds an investor day.

SPORTS DIRECT INTERNATIONAL (SPD.L: )

The sporting goods retailer posts first-half results.

CHRYSALIS GROUP (CHS.L: )

The music and media group reports full-year results.

COHORT (CHRT.L: )

The defence technology firm unveils first-half results.

(Reporting by Jon Hopkins; Editing by Mike Nesbit)

UK Stocks — Factors to watch on Thursday Dec 16