UK Stocks — Factors to watch on Thursday Dec 30

LONDON, Dec 30 (BestGrowthStock) – Britain’s top share index is seen losing 8-12
points at open on Thursday, staying within a tight range near the 6,000 level in
holiday thinned trade.

Financial bookmakers see the FTSE 100 (.FTSE: ) dipping as much as 0.2 percent
at open after it closed 12.56 points lower at 5,996.36 on Wednesday. It closed
at a fresh 30-month high on Friday and above 6,000 for the first time since June
3, 2008.

The index, which is up 10.8 percent this year, has gained 25 percent since
it touched the year’s low at the start of July, and traders are optimistic that
the upward momentum can be continued to year-end.

“A mildly bullish mood persists amongst traders… (they) are cautiously
optimistic that we can close out 2010 with the FTSE above 6,000,” Jonathan
Sudaria night dealer at Capital Spreads said.

The dollar hit a seven-week low around 81.30 yen (JPY=: ), and plumbed a
28-year low versus the Australian dollar, which rose to a high just shy of
$1.02 (AUD=D4: ). The euro climbed to $1.3259 (EUR=: ), extending Wednesday’s
rebound from a low around $1.3081.

The dollar’s weakness helped to boost metal prices, with silver hitting a
30-year peak, which should be supportive of miners.

Reiterating his hawkish stance, bank policymaker Andrew Sentance was quoted
as saying on Wednesday that the Bank of England should raise interest rates
sooner rather than later to contain inflation. [ID:nLDE6BS1EL]

With an absence of any significant UK data due for release, investors will
look across the Atlantic for pointers on the global economic outlook. U.S.
pending home sales and jobless claims are among data released on Thursday.

* GLOBAL MKTS-Asian stocks cement solid gains; Nikkei fizzles[ID:nL3E6NU02T]

* FOREX-Dollar withers to new lows as U.S. yields sag [ID:nTOE6BT00W]

* Oil hovers above $91 ahead of U.S. inventory data [ID:nL3E6NU04W]

* TREASURIES-US seven-year notes gain a point in price [ID:nLDE6BT02K]

* METALS-LME copper hits record; yen strength prompts buying [ID:nL3E6NU03K]

* PRECIOUS-Silver hits 30-year peak on weak dollar [ID:nL3E6NU01P]

Companies to watch on Thursday:

ANGLO AMERICAN (AAL.L: )

The global miner has declared force majeure on its coal mines in Australia’s
Queensland state due to prolonged heavy rains, joining a long list of coal firms
suffering from weather related problems. [ID:nL3E6NU024]

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

A tropical depression over Australia could develop into a cyclone over the
next several days and bear down on offshore oil and gas installations, and iron
ore shipping zones, Australia’s Bureau of Meteorology said on Thursday.
[ID:nL3E6NU021]

TODAY’S UK PAPERS

> Financial Times [PRESS/FT]

> Other business headlines [PRESS/GB]
(Reporting by Simon Falush)

UK Stocks — Factors to watch on Thursday Dec 30