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July 20

July 20

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LONDON, July 20 (Reuters) - Britain's FTSE 100 is seen opening 23-32 points higher on Monday, or as much as 0.7 percent, tracking strength in Asia on strong corporate earnings and a last minute $3 billion rescue of U.S.

lender CIT Group (CIT.N).

CIT Group's board signed off on a deal late on Sunday to receive $3 billion in rescue funding, sources said, as it tries to avoid becoming the latest casualty of the global financial crisis.

This, combined with growing optimism about second quarter earnings helped Asian stocks rise to a 10-month high, with the MSCI index of Asia Pacific stocks outside Japan .MAIPJ0000PUS gaining 2.2 percent to reach its highest level since the aftermath of Lehman Brother's demise.

Tentative signs of life for the UK housing market come from a survey from Rightmove which, the property website said, indicated that there are growing signs that price falls have bottomed out.

The survey showed asking prices for homes in England and Wales in July are an average of 3.1 percent lower than a year ago but that prices have risen for five months out of seven this year.

* Wall St scores best week in 4 months with IBM's help [ID:nN17477075] * Asia stocks hit 2009 high on earnings, CIT rescue [ID:nLK684977] * Oil rises above $64, buoyed by Asian stocks rally [ID:nSYD403861] * Dollar and yen fall as stocks rally; euro at 3-wk high [ID:nSYD388311] * TREASURIES-Bonds fall as housing data dampens safety bid [ID:nN17584132] * PRECIOUS-Gold extends gains on oil, dollar, platinum up [ID:nSP384010] UK stocks to watch on Monday are: HSBC (HSBA.L) The bank has picked 4-5 investment banks in its first round of selecting sponsorships and underwriters in its plans to launch shares in China, Apple Daily said on Monday citing unidentified sources.

[ID:nHKG35004] BARCLAYS (BARC.L) Roger Jenkins, the executive who secured billions of pounds in overseas funding to help Barclays (BARC.L) remain free from direct government investment, is poised to leave the bank, the Sunday Telegraph reported.

[ID:nLJ591599] The investment banking wing of Barclays faces a threat as the Conservatives vow to pursue a regulatory crackdown on 'high risk' financial operations, the Daily Mail newspaper said.

FRIENDS PROVIDENT (FP.L) Financial buyout firm Resolution (RSL.L) is likely to table a sweetened bid proposal for insurer Friends Provident this week, including a cash element and a commitment on dividends, a source close to the matter said on Sunday.

[ID:nLJ579695] UNITED UTILITIES (UU.L) The utility is reviewing its unregulated businesses in a move that could lead to a sale that raises up to 800 million pounds ($1.3 billion) the Independent on Sunday newspaper said, citing an un named "City banker".

[ID:nLJ460575] BRITISH AIRWAYS (BAY.L) The airline has told its check-in staff to look out for passengers showing symptoms of the H1N1 virus and to alert doctors who could bar them from boarding a flight, the airline said on Sunday.

[ID:nLJ480834] LLOYDS BANKING GROUP (LLOY.L), ROYAL BANK OF SCOTLAND (RBS.L) The banks may have to sell parts of their business under proposals to be announced by opposition Conservatives on Monday, the Times newspaper reported.

[ID:nLJ651069] In other news, Ron Sandler, the chairman of nationalised British bank Northern Rock (NRKx.L), is on the short-list to replace Victor Blank as the chairman of Lloyds Banking Group (LLOY.L), the Sunday Telegraph said.

BANKS Regulators from the Financial Services Authority are sitting in on bank board meetings, demanding more data and questioning brokers' business plans as part of the harder line they have adopted in the wake of the credit crunch, the Financial Times said.

PETER HAMBRO MINING (POG.L) The miner releases a trading update.

DOMINO'S PIZZA (DOM.L) The company releases its first-half results.

STHREE (STHR.L) The company releases its first-half results.

TODAY'S UK PAPERS > Financial Times [PRESS/FT] > Other business headlines [PRESS/GB] 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 Simon Falush; Editing by Mike Nesbit)
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