UK Stocks — Factors to watch on Wednesday Aug 18

LONDON, Aug 18 (BestGrowthStock) – Britain’s FTSE 100 (.FTSE: ) index was seen opening
down 25-31 points, or 0.6 percent on Wednesday, according to financial
bookmakers, retreating after Tuesday’s strong rally, with energy issues expected
to be weak tracking an easier crude (CLc1: ) price.

The blue-chip index closed 74.45 points, or 1.4 percent, higher on Tuesday
at 5,350.55 for its highest close in a week, driven by strength in financials
and commodity stocks as fears about a global economic slowdown abated and raw
material prices gained.

“There is a rising wedge formation that has formed on the 30-minute time
frame. So, if prices cannot maintain support above the uptrend line support at
5,340, look for a pullback lower towards support between 5,313 and 5,279,” said
Raghee Horner, chief market analyst at Autochartist.

“This will result in a correction that is likely to be bought into since the
15, 30, and 60-minute charts are all in mark up cycles. The bulls will look at a
near-term move lower as an opportunity to buy into the renewed strength in the
FTSE,” Horner said.

U.S. stocks (Read more about the stock market today. ) gained strongly on Tuesday as earnings from major retailers, a
takeover bid in the agriculture sector and a jump in U.S. industrial production
restored optimism about the profit outlook.

But weaker than expected U.S. housing starts took some of the shine off the
positive picture, and while Asian stocks rose on Wednesday, the gains were more
muted.

Investors will eye the release of minutes from the August Bank of England
Monetary Policy Committee meeting, due at 0830 GMT, with no other domestic data
due for release on Wednesday.

Forecasters expect the MPC to have voted 7-1 once again to keep British
interest rates on hold at record low levels, and for it to have voted 8-0 to
maintain its quantitative easing policy.

The only U.S. data to be released on Wednesday will be weekly mortgage and
refinancing indexes, due at 1100 GMT.

Ex-dividend factors will knock 8.56 points off the FTSE 100 index on
Wednesday, with Anglo American (AAL.L: ), BAT (BATS.L: ), Carnival (CCL.L: ),
Fresnillo (FRES.L: ), Hammerson (HMSO.L: ), HSBC (HSBA.L: ), Pearson (PSON.L: ),
Prudential (PRU.L: ) and Standard Life (SL.L: ) all trading without their payout
attractions.

* GLOBAL MARKETS-Asian shares advance, BHP bid move boost [ID:nSGE67H015]

* US STOCKS-Wall Street buoyed by earnings, deal talk [ID:nN17149950]

* Nikkei clings to gains but off highs; Nidec strong [ID:nTOE67H01G]

* FOREX-Yen rises on demand from Japanese players [ID:nTOE67H02P]

* TREASURIES-Edge up in Asia, 10-yr yield near 17-mth low [ID:nTOE67H01D]

* Oil falls as U.S. petroleum stockpiles head for record [ID:nSGE67H03D]

* PRECIOUS-Gold firms near 1-1/2 month high; ETF holdings up[ID:nSGE67H043]

* METALS-LME copper steady near 1-wk high; Asia buyers wary [ID:nSGE67H074]

Stocks to watch on Wednesday are:

BHP BILLITON (BLT.L: )

The global miner may go hostile with its $39 billion bid for fertiliser
group Potash Corp (POT.TO: ) as early as Wednesday, a source said, setting the
stage for a possible higher offer. [ID:nSGE67H031]

EURASIAN NATURAL RESOURCES (ENRC.L: )

The Kazakh-based miner unveils first-half results.

SHIRE (SHP.L: )

Shire said on Tuesday it will stop selling a low blood pressure drug that
U.S. regulators said was never proven to help patients. On Monday, the Food and
Drug Administration proposed withdrawing ProAmatine because the agency said
Shire did not complete required post-approval studies to verify benefits
suggested in early testing. [ID:nN17150829]

BARCLAYS (BARC.L: )

The bank won a “sweetheart deal” from the Justice Department in a proposed
settlement of criminal charges that accuse the bank of violating U.S. trade
sanctions, an U.S. District Judge, Emmet Sullivan said at a hearing on Tuesday.
[ID:nN17133321]

ROYAL BANK OF SCOTLAND (RBS.L: )

The state-backed bank has notified 250,000 of its small business customers
that under a negotiated deal current accounts, loans and associated foreign
exchange will be some of the services automatically transferring to rival
Santander (SAN.MC: ), the Daily Telegraph said.

C&W WORLDWIDE (CWP.L: )

The firm has won a five-year contract to supply telecoms services to
retailer Next (NXT.L: ), The Times said. CWW is understood to have won the
contract from Global Crossing-owned rival Fibernet and the deal means that the
group now has contracts in place with all of the FTSE 100 retailers.

AFREN (AFRE.L: )

The Daily Mail’s market report notes revived takeover gossip surrounding the
West Africa-focused oil and gas exploration group. The newspaper says BG Group
(BG.L: ) considers Afren to be the perfect bolt-on acquisition and a way to
increase its potential in Africa.

HOCHSCHILD MINING (HOCM.L: )

The miner delivers first-half results.

HENDERSON GROUP (HGGH.L: )

The fund manager posts first-half results.

LOOKERS (LOOK.L: )

The car dealer posts first-half results.

XAAR (XAR.L: )

The printing technology firm reports first-half results.

PRIMARY HEATH PROPERTIES (PHP.L: )

The property investors unveils first-half results.

INVISTA EUROPEAN REAL ESTATE (IERE.L: )

The property group issues a trading update.

MULBERRY GROUP (MUL.L: )

The luxury products group holds its annual general meeting.

(Reporting by Jon Hopkins; Editing by Tricia Wright)

UK Stocks — Factors to watch on Wednesday Aug 18