* Britain's FTSE 100 index is seen opening up 4 to 7 points, or 0.1
percent, on Wednesday, according to financial bookmakers. For more on the
factors affecting European stocks, please click on
* The UK blue chip index closed up 64.93 points, or 1.1 percent, at 5,870.54
on Tuesday, on the cusp of breaking out of its recent trading range, as
investors welcomed a media report saying Germany could adopt a softer approach
towards financial aid to Spain.
* Wall Street rallied on Tuesday, with strong earnings from diversified U.S.
healthcare company Johnson & Johnson and other bellwether companies
raising hopes for the rest of the U.S. reporting season.
* Ex-dividend factors will knock 1.11 points off the FTSE 100 index on
Wednesday, with BAE Systems and Capital Shopping Centres both
trading without their payout attractions.
* Investors will focus on UK unemployment data, at 0830 GMT, and the outcome
of the October monetary policy committee meeting, also at 0830 GMT.
* Across the Atlantic, U.S. September housing starts data is set for release
at 1230 GMT.
* BHP Billiton In its September-quarter activities report, BHP
outlined plans to boost output by 5 percent by the end of June 2013, relying on
the higher tonnages to reduce costs and cushion the impact of lower selling
prices. BHP said quarterly iron ore production was steady at 39.8 million
* BP The oil giant has set a deadline of Thursday for all bids for
its stake in TNK-BP, in a move expected to elicit offers both from its
oligarch partners, AAR, and from Kremlin-controlled Rosneft, the Daily
* International Personal Finance said third-quarter profit is in
line with last year.
* Speedy Hire said it is confident of meeting its full-year
* Cable & Wireless Communications is in advanced talks to sell its
controlling stake in Macau's largest telecoms group to Citic Telecom
International, the Financial Times said.
TODAY'S UK PAPERS
> Financial Times
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* 3000 Xtra : visit* BridgeStation: view story .134(Reporting by Tricia Wright)