UPDATE 1-UK Stocks-Factors to watch on Friday, June 8
08/06/2012 at 07:30
Adds company news
* Britain's FTSE 100 index is seen opening down as much as 33 points, or 0.6 percent lower on Friday, according to financial bookmakers, echoing a weaker performance overnight in the United States and Asia. For more on the factors affecting European stocks, please click on
* The UK blue chip index closed up 63.68 points, or 1.2 percent higher on Thursday at 5,447.79, as Britain's top shares hit a three-week high after China's surprise move to cut interest rates and firm UK services sector data boosted investors' appetite for risk.
* The S&P 500 ended barely changed on Thursday as optimism about China's interest rate cut was offset by Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke's comments that dimmed hopes for more U.S. stimulus.
* Commodities fell on Friday, disappointed by the Fed's reticence to jump in and stimulate the world's largest economy amid worries that a surprise Chinese rate cut suggested its economy was performing even worse than expected.
* Investors will watch for May UK PPI data due out at 0830 GMT, with input prices forecast to fall 1.3 percent month-on-month MOM and output prices forecast to rise 0.1 percent MOM, after British factory gate inflation eased less than expected on the year in April, and companies' input costs rose at the slowest pace since October 2009.
* ENRC : A long-awaited internal inquiry at the FTSE 100 mining group has been given added significance days before its scheduled completion by the group's chairman refusing to endorse its controversial business partner in Africa, wrote the Guardian.
* WPP : WPP has hit back at the U.S. shareholder group that criticised the 6.8 million pounds $10.59 million pay package handed to its chief executive, Martin Sorrell, slamming its stance as "inconsistent" and "parochial", reported the Telegraph.
* Barclays : Th UK lender's ambitious asset disposal programme launched early last year to boost profitability has been hampered by the eurozone crisis and uncertainty over financial regulation in the UK, according to the Financial Times.
* Rolls Royce : The engine maker announced it will acquire the 50 percent of shares it does not already own in Aero Engine Controls.
* Bellway : The UK housebuilder reveals private weekly sales rose 19 percent for period from 1 February to 31 may 2012 and sees operating margin of at least 11% for the full year.
William Hill : The British bookmaker says it has been recommended for licensing by Nevada gaming control board.
* Easyjet : The low cost airline reports its load factor was up 3.9 percent in month ending May 2012 compared to May 2011.
* John Lewis : The UK bellwether retailer said weekly department store sales were up 18.1 percent.
* SThree : The UK recruitment firm unveiled a 12 percent rise first-half gross profit and said the energy & resources sector remains strong but in overall terms the market is becoming more challenging.
* WSP : Canadian engineering company Genivar Inc said on Thursday it is offering to acquire British consulting firm WSP Group PLC in a cash deal valued at approximately C$442 million $431.54 million.
* Hornby : The toymaker post a 1.7 percent rise in turnover for the year, while underlying profit gain marginally and the company said it is well positioned to benefit from the incremental sales that will be generated.
* African Copper : The miner says its Mowana plant resumed operations on June 5 and it has secured an additional loan of $6.0 million from its controlling shareholder zci limited.
* Ultra Electronics : The firm announced it has won a $49 million contract for sonar equipment for the U.S. navy.
* EROS : The company says it has not yet determined when it is to launch its intended NYSE listing.
TODAY'S UK PAPERS
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Written by David Brett; Editing by Andrew Heavens
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Keywords: MARKETS BRITAIN FACTORS