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    UK Summary: London Stocks Close Down After Choppy Session (mart.j)

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mart.j     posted : 14/02/10   02:23 pm


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UK Summary: London Stocks Close Down After Choppy Session


MARKET NEWS:

FTSE 100 5142.45 -19.03 -0.37%
FTSE 250 9052.97 -74.88 -0.82%
DJ UK Smaller Companies 790.12 -2.95 -0.37%

London Stocks Close Lower After Choppy Session1641 GMT [Dow Jones] FTSE 100 closes down 0.4% at 5142.5, ending in the red after a rather tumultuous session, Friday. Disappointing US economic data and a sell-off on Wall Street, which saw the DJIA drop beneath the 10,000 level briefly, pushed London lower. The move in China to lift reserve requirements for the country's banks sparks concerns for basic and precious metals demand and as a result, miners are lower. Vedanta Resources and Xstrata both end -2.5%. Banks are also in the red as European sovereign debt concerns continue to hurt. Monday will be relatively quiet with both the US and Chinese markets closed for public holidays. Inevitably all eyes will be on Greece.

TOP STORIES:

Promethean To Announce Plans Mon To Float Shrs On LSE -SourceLONDON (Dow Jones)--Promethean is set to announce plans to float on the London Stock Exchange on Monday, bucking the prevalent trend of withdrawals of IPOs by a raft of companies, a person familiar with the situation told Dow Jones Newswires on Friday.

BOE Minutes To Show Split Vote On Bond-Buying TotalLONDON (Dow Jones)--The minutes of the latest monthly Bank of England meeting are expected to show some disagreement among the members over the decision to hold the bond-buying amount at GBP200 billion.

FSA 2010-11 Funding Requirement Up 9.9% On YearLONDON (Dow Jones)--The U.K.'s Financial Services Authority said Friday its funding requirement for the 2010-2011 financial year will rise 9.9% from 2009-2010 to pay for more-intensive supervision, but a new fee structure means larger firms will shoulder the bulk of the costs.

Rio Tinto, BHP Billiton Agree on Iron Ore JV ExecutivesPERTH (Dow Jones)--Rio Tinto PLC (RTP) and BHP Billiton Ltd. (BHP.AU) have finalized the senior management of their planned iron ore joint venture, despite ongoing uncertainty over regulatory approvals, a person familiar with the situation said Friday.

COMPANIES NEWS:

Stagecoach Group Declares 4.5P Second Interim DividendLONDON (Dow Jones)--Stagecoach Group PLC (SGC.LN) Friday declared a second interim dividend of 4.5 pence per ordinary share.

New Look Postpones IPO, Latest Casualty Of Falling MarketsLONDON (Dow Jones)--U.K. retailer New Look on Friday postponed its initial public offering, becoming the 10th company in just two weeks to withdraw offerings because of choppy equity markets.

Barclays 2009 Profit Seen Up Despite Bad DebtsLONDON (Dow Jones)--Barclays PLC (BCS) is expected to report a rise in full-year pretax profit when it kicks off the earnings season for U.K. banks Tuesday, but bad-debt charges should continue to weigh on results as the U.K. recession continued to deepen in 2009.

WSJ: Global Staff Will Share Bonus Pain At Barclays - SourcesLONDON (Dow Jones)--Barclays PLC (BCS) will spread the impact of the U.K.'s bank-bonus tax across its global work force and operations, according to people familiar with the matter, diverging from some rivals who have opted to allow their London employees to absorb the brunt of the pain.

SSL Ups Stake In Condom Co, Delays Full TakeoverLONDON (Dow Jones)--Durex condom maker SSL International PLC (SSL.LN) said Friday it has raised its stake in the manufacturer of Russia's bestselling condom brand but will put off taking full control for another year.

Cleardebt In GBP500,000 Bridging Loan Pact With Synergy CapLONDON (Dow Jones)--Cleardebt Group PLC (CLEA.LN), said Friday it has entered a GBP500,000 bridging loan agreement with Synergy Capital Ltd. to finance the purchase of Relax Group PLC (RLX.LN) assets, adding it intends to repay the loan in two months.

Uganda To Levy 30% Capital Gains Tax On Heritage Asset SaleKAMPALA Uganda (Dow Jones)Uganda's state tax body, the Uganda Revenue Authority, will levy a 30% capital gains tax on the sale of Heritage Oil PLC's (HOIL.LN) stake in two Lake Albert oil blocks to UK-based Tullow Oil PLC (TLW.LN), the URA said Friday.

Merlin Among Latest Postponed IPOsBlackstone Group-owned Merlin Entertainments Group, the owner of Madame Tussauds and Alton Towers, has postponed its initial public offering, coming on the back of two other similar moves by high profile sponsor-backed companies.

Lloyds To Issue 3.14B Shares Under GBP1.5B Debt ExchangeLONDON (Dow Jones)--Lloyds Banking Group PLC (LYG) said Friday that it will issue 3.14 billion new shares under an exchange offer with investors, closing the last part of its GBP22.5 billion capital raising.

Lloyds Considers Options For Private Equity Business - ReutersAt least five buyout firms are interested in Lloyds Banking Group's (LLOY.LN) private equity unit, Reuters news agency reported on its Web site Thursday, citing sources familiar with the process.

Shaftesbury's West End Vacancies Drop 21%; Outlook BullishLONDON (Dow Jones)--Shaftesbury PLC (SHB.LN), an investment trust with properties in London's West End shopping and entertainment district, said Friday its overall vacant commercial space has fallen 21% during the busy Christmas and New Year period from end-September, with take-up in office space making up for increased vacancies in restaurant and retail space.

OTHER NEWS

UK DMO Names Banks For 2060 Syndicated 4% Gilt SaleLONDON (Dow Jones)--The U.K. Debt Management Office has appointed Barclays Capital, Deutsche Bank AG, Royal Bank of Canada and Royal Bank of Scotland Group PLC to lead-manage the sale of a new 4% gilt due 2060 via syndication, the DMO said Friday.

UK Regulators Express Concern On Pace Of Financial ReformsLONDON (Dow Jones)--The U.K.'s top financial regulators expressed concerns that the pace of regulatory reform in the U.K. is outstripping changes in other countries at the first meeting of the Council for Financial Stability.

INSIGHT & ANALYSIS:

BOE WATCH: King Strikes More Conciliatory Fiscal MessageLONDON (Dow Jones)--Having achieved his apparent aim of putting fiscal consolidation at the top of the political agenda, Bank of England Governor Mervyn King now wants to see the details. In a quarterly press conference Wednesday, King repeated his call for a "clear and credible" plan to eliminate the structural deficit.

FTSE 100 Must Close Above 5300 For Further UpsideLONDON (Dow Jones)--The FTSE 100 index of leading London shares has attempted to recuperate some of last week's losses, but only a close above the latest intermediate peak, at 5300, would suggest a reversal to the upside is underway, said technical analysts.

BROKER COMMENTS:

Credit Suisse Upgrades Rio Tinto To Outperform1229 GMT [Dow Jones] Credit Suisse upgrades Rio Tinto (RIO.LN) to outperform from neutral following a 14% pull-back in the shares over the past month and the strong fundamentals in the bulk space. Credit Suisse also lifts the price target to 4350p from 4000p. It says near-term pricing momentum clearly favors the bulk commodities and thinks Rio Tinto appears best placed to ride the upgrades, with iron ore expected to contribute over 50% of group EBITDA in '10. Shares -1.3% at 3173.5p.

Credit Suisse Increases Heritage Oil Price Target1050 GMT [Dow Jones] Credit Suisse increases Heritage Oil (HOIL.LN) price target to 706p from 697p, in line with the brokerage's revised risked NAV and cashflow forecast which now includes local sales from extended well testing on the Miran West discovery in Kurdistan, commencing in late '10. Credit Suisse is confident that imminent catalysts will cause part of the discount applied to the company's activities to unwind. CS expects the completion of the $1.5B Ugandan asset sale and the resumption of exports from Kurdistan and drilling results from the Miran West appraisal well shortly. Outperform rating. Shares -1.3% at 507p.

Credit Suisse Raises Smith & Nephew Price Target1041 GMT [Dow Jones] Credit Suisse raises Smith & Nephew (SN.LN) price target to 740p from 720p following solid 4Q results. The brokerage has increased conviction in management's ability to deliver topline recovery and to make further material improvements in margin over the next few years. CS thinks orthopaedic reconstruction, woundcare and endoscopy are attractive markets and expects Smith & Nephew to outperform peers and gain market share. CS says Smith & Nephew is trading on 12x forward earnings on Credit Suisse's numbers but the brokerage thinks this multiple doesn't fully reflect the growth opportunities at hand. Keeps at outperform. Shares -1.1% at 653p.

Contact: London Services, Dow Jones Newswires; +44-20-7842-9319Click here to go to Dow Jones NewsPlus, a web front page of today's most important business and market news, analysis and commentary: http://www.djnewsplus.com/access/al?rnd=X1aD36%2BIJsr9f9sKZ06NAg%3D%3D. You can use this link on the day this article is published and the following day.

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

February 12, 2010 11:57 ET (16:57 GMT)

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