Below-forecast Uk Data Knocks Pound, But Outlook Still Rosy

UK Stocks-Factors to watch on Sept. 6

Credit: Reuters/Nigel Roddis/Files LONDON | Fri Sep 6, 2013 4:33am EDT LONDON (Reuters) – British industrial output was flat in July and there was a marked deterioration in the trade balance, official data showed on Friday, taking some of the shine off recent strong economic data. Output in the industrial sector – which makes up about one sixth of Britain’s economy – had been expected to edge up by 0.1 percent according to a Reuters poll. The narrower category of manufacturing rose by 0.2 percent, just short of forecasts for a 0.3 percent rise, although June’s figure was revised up, the Office for National Statistics said. Signs of a surprisingly strong recovery in Britain’s economy have come thick and fast in the past few months. Growth of 0.7 percent in the second quarter could be trumped by an even stronger reading in the third. The Bank of England pledged last month to keep interest rates on hold until unemployment falls to 7 percent, something it does not envisage happening for another three years, but the strength of recent data has encouraged traders to bet rates might rise as soon as next year. Separate figures showed Britain’s goods trade deficit widened to 9.85 billion pounds in July after narrowing sharply in June. Economists had forecast a gap of 8.153 billion pounds. Including services, in which Britain traditionally runs a surplus, the trade deficit widened to 3.085 billion pounds. That was more than double its level in June and the worst reading since October 2012. Exports to non-European Union countries plunged by nearly 16 percent, the biggest monthly fall since January 2009. Monthly trade figures are volatile but July’s figures may dampen hopes that Britain’s economic recovery is broadening and moving onto a more sustainable footing. (Reporting by Christina Fincher and William Schomberg) Tweet this

(AP) The University of Kentucky said Tuesday its Gill Heart Institute will team with a group of hospitals and doctors to provide care for heart patients in eastern Kentucky. The goal is to keep more patients closer to home for treatment in a region plagued by some of the nation’s highest rates of heart disease. Bolstering heart care in Kentucky’s Appalachian region will mean fewer patients being transported by helicopter or ambulance to the UK Hospital in Lexington for emergency treatment, said Dr. Michael Karpf , UK’s executive vice president of health affairs. “If you’re somebody who’s having a heart attack and you need either a bypass or an angioplasty, minutes are incredibly important in protecting heart muscle,” Karpf said by phone. “So now people will be able to get to the next level real quickly and efficiently.” UK’s Gill Heart Institute will work with Appalachian Regional Healthcare and Appalachian Heart Center on the initiative. UK is hiring more cardiologists and will assess the region’s needs for more heart specialists and surgeons, Karpf said. He predicted that hundreds of heart patients each year in the region will benefit from the collaboration. “The whole premise is based on value, improving outcomes and doing it in a cost-sensitive kind of way,” Karpf said. Hazard ARH Regional Medical Center will become a hub for heart surgeries in eastern Kentucky, though the most complex procedures will still be done in Lexington, he said. Dr. Edward Setser , a UK surgeon, began performing such cardiac procedures as heart valve replacements in Hazard in 2011. AHC cardiologists will join the UK cardiology team providing services in Hazard.

Lucy Vallender, UK’s First Transgender Muslim Woman, Gets Married After Leaving Territorial Army (PHOTOS)

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The pound could also be vulnerable against the dollar if U.S. monthly jobs data due at 1230 GMT is strong enough to cement expectations that the U.S. Federal Reserve will scale back, or ‘taper’, monetary stimulus later this month. But analysts expected the broad trend of recent firmer UK data would ensure sterling strength, especially against the euro due to contrasting monetary policy signals in the UK and the euro zone. The pound was down 0.1 percent at $1.5574, below a two week high of $1.5667 hit on Thursday. The euro rose 0.15 percent on the day to hit 84.29 pence, though it remained close to a four-month low of 84.08 pence hit on Thursday. Traders reported strong bids around 84 pence but said the euro could extend falls if it drops below the late April low of 83.98 pence, due to a lack of strong chart support below that level. “Sterling is looking more and more bullish. But standing in the way of a rise towards 83 pence and $1.5750 could be ‘taper tantrums’ after the U.S. non-farm payrolls and if UK unemployment data on Wednesday is weak,” said Nawaz Ali, market analyst at Western Union Business Solutions. Sterling’s trade-weighted index dipped to 82.2, having hit 82.5 before the UK data was released. This matched a Thursday’s peak, which was its strongest since January 16.

UK industrial output flat in July, trade deficit widens sharply

For more on the factors affecting European stocks, please click on * The UK blue chip index ended 57.70 points, or 0.9 percent, higher at 6,532.44 on Thursday, posting its highest close since Aug. 15. The index is up this week after declines in the previous four weeks and is on track to record its best weekly gains in nearly two months. * UK industrial and manufacturing output data for July is due at 0830 GMT. Industrial output is forecast to rise 0.1 percent month-on-month, while manufacturing output is seen 0.3 percent higher. * VODAFONE – The company is ready to direct a large part of its “Project Spring” investment spend on Italy, Chief Executive Vittorio Colao said in an interview on Friday. * BAE SYSTEMS – The company said on Thursday U.S. budget cuts were forcing it to close a small facility in Lemont Furnace, Pennsylvania, that has been upgrading and overhauling Bradley fighting vehicles and other ground vehicles for nearly 20 years. * Brent crude held above $115 a barrel, set for a second weekly rise and supported by concerns that a potential U.S. military strike on Syria may spread unrest in the Middle East and disrupt supply. * London copper edged higher after solid U.S. data added to the case that a global recovery is gaining steam, although a robust dollar capped gains. TODAY’S UK PAPERS > Financial Times > Other business headlines Multimedia versions of Reuters Top News are now available for: * 3000 Xtra : visit* BridgeStation: view story .134(Reporting by Atul Prakash)

UK bomb experts check suspicious item near River Thames crossings

The bridge and two tunnels which make up the Dartford Crossing carrying traffic on the M25 London orbital motorway across the river, were closed following reports of a pedestrian “behaving unusually” and the discovery of the unspecified item. Bomb disposal experts were called to the scene but some six hours after the closure, police said inquiries had concluded that it posed no threat. However, the arrested man remained in custody, Kent Police said in a statement. “He came back towards the cars, he went across into the lane next to me, tried to get in the car next to me, he was shouting something,” motorist Graeme Brouder, 36, was quoted as saying by the BBC. “He was shouting at that car, tried to get in that car, ran past mine, tried my door handle, and then ran down the lane behind me and he was just shouting at everyone. He was running around, he was trying to get in everybody’s cars.” In a second operation linked to the Dartford incident, police said they had stopped a long-distance bus near the port of Dover, leading to the closure of the main A20 road. No items were found and no arrests made, police said, and the road was later reopened. The Dartford Crossing, about 20 miles east of London, carries some 165,000 vehicles on its busiest days and the six-hour closure of the road in both directions caused long lines of traffic with cargo trucks stuck on the 1.8 mile bridge. “Kent Police would like to thank motorists for their patience and support during what must have been a very frustrating wait,” the police said. (Reporting by Michael Holden; Editing by Andrew Roche and Eric Walsh)

UK taking aim at heart disease in eastern Ky.

“I hope people will change their attitudes and other people like me will realize they are free to just be themselves.” A spokesman for the mosque said, “Everybody is welcome, as long as they behave according to Islam,” says the Daily Mail. She converted to Islam last September, explaining that she had thought about it for a while and finally “did it because it is a nice religion — so peaceful.” Vallender continued, “I felt good and I had something to believe in.” She’s found love as well as self-acceptance since her drastic life changes, and is now married to a Muslim man, Murad, whom she met on an online dating site. Though he did not know that she was trans at the time of their wedding, she commented, “he must have suspected it as he’s seen my scars.” She’s only seen him twice since the wedding, but spoke warmly about him, commenting, “I love him, he’s kind and soft spoken.” Vallender spent years trying to deny her feelings of being “in the wrong body,” joining the Territorial Army when she was 21 in an effort to become more manly. She “used to love firing guns,” and drank regularly with other members of her squad, but always knew that she “felt differently to others… but I suppressed my feelings and tried to live like most people my age.” Vallender is probably not the UK’s first transgender Muslim woman, as Islamic LGTB groups like The Safra Project have been around since at least 2001. According to their website , “The Safra Project is a resource project working on issues relating to lesbian, bisexual and/or transgender women who identify as Muslim religiously and/or culturally (Muslim LBT women).” Queer Muslims have already begun to speak up and fight for acceptance. Though Vallender’s journey has been difficult, she is not alone. Loading Slideshow Transgender Muslim Woman Is Former Army Officer Transgender Muslim Lucy Vallender 28, from Swindon who was formerly a male TA soldier, September 4 2013. A former Territorial Army soldier has undergone a transformation from a male soldier to a transgender Muslim woman. Lucy Vallender was born Laurens in Cirencester but now wears a black veil, prays five times a day and never drinks. She has also become the second wife of a man she met online. Transgender Muslim Woman Is Former Army Officer Mosque on Broad Street in Swindon from which transgender Muslim Lucy Vallender was banned from attending.