UK Stocks-Factors to watch on Thurs May 24 - Reuters UK UK Stocks-Factors to watch on Thurs May 24 - Reuters UK

Thursday, May 24, 2012

UK Stocks-Factors to watch on Thurs May 24 - Reuters UK

UK Stocks-Factors to watch on Thurs May 24 - Reuters UK

LONDON | Thu May 24, 2012 7:04am BST

LONDON May 24 (Reuters) - * Britain's FTSE 100 index is seen opening up 35 to 41 points, or as much as 0.8 percent, on Thursday, clawing back some of the previous session's sharp losses following a late recovery on Wall Street, though trade looked set to remain cautious after a European summit failed to produce any concrete proposals for tackling the region's debt crisis. For more on the factors affecting European stocks, please click on

* European Union leaders, advised by senior officials to prepare contingency plans in case Greece decides to quit the single currency, urged the country to stay the course on austerity and complete the reforms demanded under its bailout programme.

* Brent crude remained steady at below $106 per barrel on Thursday as investors remained cautious on a slowing Chinese economy, euro zone worries and slight hopes of progress in talks between Iran and the West on Tehran's nuclear programme.

* London copper rose on Thursday as the market took a breather after sinking to a 4-1/2 month low in the previous session on risk aversion triggered by worries over Greece's possible exit from the euro zone.

* The FTSE 100 slid 136.87 points, or 2.5 percent, to 5,266.41 on Wednesday, wiping out gains from the start of the week on mounting fears Greece will leave the euro zone in its biggest one-day percentage drop since Nov. 21 and its lowest close since Nov 25, when markets were similarly beset with worries about the euro zone's debt crisis.

* U.S. stocks staged a late-day reversal on Wednesday, rallying into the close in another volatile session as a sharp rise in materials shares boosted the S&P 500 and gains in Apple helped lift the Nasdaq.

* In terms of domestic economic data, investors will look at the second release of UK Q1 GDP, scheduled for release at 0830 GMT.

* U.S. economic data on Thursday includes April durable goods and the latest weekly jobless claims, both due at 1230 GMT.


SABMILLER reports full-year results

UNITED UTILITIES GROUP reports full-year results

BOOKER GROUP reports full-year results

CALEDONIA INV reports full-year results

BRITVIC posts first-half results

CABLE & WIRELESS COMMUNICATIONS reports full-year results

DAIRY CREST GROUP reports full-year results

DAILY MAIL & GENERAL TRUST reports first-half results

ELECTROCOMPONENTS reports full-year results

PAYPOINT reports full-year results

QINETIQ GROUP reports full-year results


> Financial Times

> Other business headlines Multimedia versions of Reuters Top News are now available for: * 3000 Xtra : visit * BridgeStation: view story .134 For more information on Top News visit (Reporting by Tricia Wright)

Tenants' money needs to be in safe hands, says letting office owner - This is Gloucestershire

The regulation of the lettings industry has long been a source of controversy and despite the sector's rapid growth over recent years it is still somewhat unregulated.

With growth predicted to escalate over coming years, lettings specialist Belvoir, which has an office on Bath Road in Cheltenham, is urging landlords and tenants to choose their letting agent carefully, and in particular look for one that they can be sure will keep their money safe.

Since the launch of a new initiative, of which Belvoir is a founder member, this should now be a little easier. The SAFEagent scheme, which already has 1,100 members throughout the UK, including Belvoir, is designed to highlight agents which safeguard their clients through money protection schemes.

All member companies are awarded the SAFE (Safe Agent Fully Endorsed) mark, which has been welcomed by the Trading Standards Institute as an easily identifiable kite mark related to financial protection.

"Finances are obviously hugely important to both landlords and tenants. However, they sometimes overlook the importance of knowing that their money is safe in the hands of their agent," said Belvoir Cheltenham office owner Neil West. "They'll now be able to look out for the SAFEagent kite mark and feel secure in the knowledge that lettings agents that have been awarded the mark will guard their money through client protection schemes."

SAFEagent has the full support of the National Approved Lettings Scheme (NALS) and has received backing from a number of high profile firms and consumer groups.

Belvoir Lettings managing director Dorian Gonsalves is among a group of industry experts who advocated the scheme from the start and in the early stages committed central office funds towards its development. He said: "I firmly believe the introduction of SAFEagent is a positive step in the right direction for the regulation of this industry. It mirrors Belvoir's three core principles of professionalism, specialism and high quality customer service and will give our agents a competitive edge."

National SAFEagent Awareness Week has been launched to raise awareness of the importance of choosing a lettings agency covered by a Client Money Protection Scheme.

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