UK Stocks — Factors to watch on Tuesday April 12

 LONDON, April 12 (Reuters) - Britain's leading share index is seen dropping
back on Tuesday, tracking falls in Asian markets, with investors spooked by news
that Japan has raised the severity of its nuclear crisis to the highest level,
putting it on par with the 1986 Chernobyl disaster.
 Financial bookmakers expect the FTSE 100 (.FTSE: Quote, Profile, Research) index to open down 30 to 34
points, or 0.6 percent. The index ended almost flat on Monday at 6,053.44 after
giving back earlier gains made on the back of strength in the banking sector.
 As another major aftershock rattled the earthquake-ravaged east of Japan, an
official at the country's Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency (NISA) said that
the severity of the incident at the stricken Fukushima Daiichi power plant had
been raised to the worst on an internationally recognised scale. [ID:nLDE73B01P]
 Tokyo stocks fell 1.7 percent on Tuesday, dropping for a second straight
day, as investors sold off car and electronics makers on growing worries that
the impact of the huge earthquake and tsunami which hit Japan on March 11 may be
more severe than feared.
 Domestically, investors' main focus on Tuesday will be UK March CPI numbers,
with a rise of 0.6 percent expected on the month, after a 0.7 percent increase
in February, giving a static annualised rise of 4.4 percent, still more than
double the Bank of England's 2 percent target.
 The BoE, which kept interest rates on hold on April 7 following its monthly
monetary policy committee meeting, has warned that CPI is likely to resume its
rise towards 5 percent in the coming months, before falling back in 2012,
putting pressure on the central bank to raise UK interest rates.
 Meanwhile, British retail sales fell at their fastest annual pace in nearly
six years in March as high inflation and low wage growth dragged down consumer
spending at a time of economic uncertainty, a survey showed on Tuesday.
 The British Retail Consortium said like-for-like retail sales were 3.5
percent lower in March than a year ago, after a 0.4 percent fall in February,
the worst drop since April 2005.
 Total sales, a measure which includes new floorspace, fell by 1.9 percent,
the worst drop since the BRC began collecting the data in 1995. That followed a
1.1 percent rise in February. [ID:nL9E7FB000]
 But the decline in house prices in England and Wales slowed further in
March, with prices in London rising for a second straight month, the Royal
Institution of Chartered Surveyors said on Tuesday.
 RICS's March seasonally adjusted house price balance rose to -23 from -26,
improving for the fifth month running and coming in marginally higher than
economists' forecasts of a reading of -24. [ID:nL9E7FB001]
 February UK trade numbers will be released at 0830 GMT, with a global trade
gap of 8.1 billion pounds forecast, up from a 7.057 billion pounds deficit in
January.
 The non-EU trade gap is seen rising to 4.9 billion pounds in February, up
from 4.173 billion pounds in the previous month.
 U.S. February international trade numbers are also scheduled for release on
Tuesday.
 Miners could draw support from first-quarter results from aluminium giant
Alcoa Inc (AA.N: Quote, Profile, Research) which beat estimates on Monday, benefiting in part from higher
raw material prices, as well as increased demand for flat-rolled products that
the firm said is expected to continue into the second quarter. [ID:nN11120576]
 
 * US-Markets fall on earnings caution, energy sell-off      [ID:nN11111495]
 * GLOBAL -Oil slumps, Asia stocks fall in retreat from risk [ID:nL3E7FB3P9]
 * Brent, US oil drop more than $1.50 on demand view         [ID:nL3E7FC04S]
 * Gold falls below record, silver off 31-year peak          [ID:nL3E7FB03B]
 * METALS-Copper drops as Goldman view, Japan weighs         [ID:nL3E7FC04Y]
 * Yen gains sharply on profit-taking in bets against it     [ID:nL3E7FC0BS]
 
 UK stocks to watch on Tuesday are:
 
 BP (BP.L: Quote, Profile, Research)
 The management of Russian joint venture TNK-BP is planning to sue BP,
claiming BP breached the joint venture's shareholder agreement, the Financial
Times said on Tuesday. [ID:nLDE73B00F]
 ROYAL DUTCH SHELL (RDSa.L: Quote, Profile, Research)
 The oil giant plans to close the smaller of its two refineries in Australia
and turn it into a fuel terminal before mid-2013 as it can no longer compete
with Asia's mega-refineries.  [ID:nL3E7FC01S]
 HSBC (HSBA.L: Quote, Profile, Research)
 An HSBC client pleaded guilty on Monday to offshore tax evasion, in a
widening U.S. government probe of banks that may help tax dodgers.
[ID:nN11109686]
 
 BAE SYSTEMS (BAES.L: Quote, Profile, Research)
 The British defence manufacturer has been awarded an urgent 8 million pound
order to fit Britain's fleet of Tornados with better targeting systems, the
Daily Mail said.
 
 AVIVA (AV.L: Quote, Profile, Research)
 The British insurer said, after the market close on Monday, that it intends
to reduce its majority stake in Delta Lloyd Group (DLL.AS: Quote, Profile, Research) to around 43 percent
by selling around 25 million shares in the Dutch firm, equivalent to just over
15 percent of the issued ordinary shares. [ID:nWEA3902]
 RENTOKIL INITIAL (RTO.L: Quote, Profile, Research)
 The British support services firm is preparing a tie-up with German washroom
services company CWS-Boco, the Daily Telegraph said.
 
 ALLIANCE TRUST (ATST.L: Quote, Profile, Research)
 The investment firm reports full-year results.
 
 PUNCH TAVERNS (PUB.L: Quote, Profile, Research)
 The pubs operator posts first-half results.
 
 VERNALIS (VER.L: Quote, Profile, Research)
 The biotechnology firm reports full-year results.
 
 TELECITY GROUP (TCY.L: Quote, Profile, Research)
 The network data centres firm holds its annual general meeting.
 
 PRIMARY HEALTH PROPERTIES (PHP.L: Quote, Profile, Research)
 The healthcare facilties provider holds its annual general meeting.
 
 ACCESS INTELLIGENCE (ACCI.L: Quote, Profile, Research)
 The complication software provider holds its annual general meeting.
 
 LAW DEBENTURE CORP. (LWDB.L: Quote, Profile, Research)
 The financial services firm holds its annual general meeting.
 
(Reporting by Jon Hopkins)










UK Stocks — Factors to watch on Tuesday April 12