UK Stocks-Factors to watch on May 8
LONDON May 8 (Reuters) - Britain's FTSE 100 index is seen opening up by 5 to 7 points, or 0.1 percent, on Thursday, according to financial bookmakers. For more on the factors affecting European stocks, please click on
* STANDARD CHARTERED - The bank said its first-quarter profit fell by a high single-digit percentage compared with last year, thanks to tough market conditions and weakness in Asian currencies including the Indian rupee and Indonesian rupiah.
* BARCLAYS - The bank is set to announce plans to cut thousands of jobs and shrink its investment bank as Chief Executive Antony Jenkins tries to get his turnaround plan for the British bank back on track after a bad 10 months.
* The blue-chip FTSE 100 index closed down 2.12 points - flat in percentage terms - at 6,796.44 points on Wednesday. The index reached a two-month closing high last Friday after five straight days of gains but has since stalled after that move up.
* China's exports and imports returned to slight growth in April, beating market forecasts and offering some positive signals for the world's second-largest economy after a weaker-than-expected start to 2014.
* The Bank of England looks set to keep interest rates at a record low on Thursday, despite signs that the recovery is picking up more speed and that house prices are surging.
* RIO TINTO : The miner's business improvement programme is gaining speed, the company's chief executive Sam Walsh said on Thursday.
* British house prices rises slowed somewhat in April, a survey showed on Thursday, tempering a surge in property values that has stirred talk of a bubble and raised concern at the Bank of England.
* Britain could lose energy-intensive industries such as petrochemicals to regions with lower energy costs such as the United States and Middle East if it does not speed up shale gas extraction, a parliamentary report said. Continuación...