LONDON Nov 22 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
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* 3000 Xtra : visit* BridgeStation: view story .134(Reporting By Toni Vorobyova; Editing by Patrick Graham)