UK Stocks-Factors to watch on Thursday, Nov 22

Thu Nov 22, 2012 7:45am GMT

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LONDON Nov 22 (Reuters) - Britain's FTSE 100 index was set to open higher on Thursday, extending gains into a fourth session and likely touching fresh one-week highs after strong Chinese data boosted prospects for the global economy.

* Futures on the UK benchmark index were up 0.4 percent by 0733 GMT. Earlier, financial bookmakers had called for the FTSE to open up 16-21 points, or up to 0.4 percent. For more on the factors affecting European stocks, click on

* China's manufacturing sector accelerated in November for the first time in 13 months, according to the HSBC Flash Manufacturing Purchasing Managers Index, suggesting the pace of economic growth has revived after seven quarters of slowdown.

* The FTSE 100 index rose 3.93 points, or 0.1 percent, to 5,752.03 points on Wednesday, bouncing up from technical support at the 200-day moving average and bringing its gains for the week so far to 2.6 percent.

* Shares on Wall Street and in Tokyo rose overnight, while in the commodities market, oil and copper prices also moved higher.

* Thursday's data calendar features euro zone flash manufacturing PMI for November at 0858 GMT and UK CBI trends orders at 1100 GMT.

* With U.S. markets shut for Thanksgiving public holidays, volumes were expected to be thin.

* SABMILLER - The brewer reported a 12 percent rise in first half profit to $2.279 billion on an 11 percent rise in revenues, and raised its interim dividend to 24 cents a share.

* RSA - The insurance group announced Martin Scicluna as its new chairman. John Napier is stepping down after ten years with effect from Dec. 31.

* BG GROUP - The UK media continues to speculate that the oil and gas group could become a takeover target after seeing its share price fall by some 20 percent since an Oct. 31 profit warning. The Daily Mail notes market talk of a possible 20 sterling per share bid from Brazil's Petrobas.

TODAY'S UK PAPERS

> Financial Times

> Other business headlines Multimedia versions of Reuters Top News are now available for: * 3000 Xtra : visit* BridgeStation: view story .134(Reporting By Toni Vorobyova; Editing by Patrick Graham)

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