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THE TIPSTER

Kathleen Brooks
IMPERIAL Tobacco has been resilient in the past year as it is a very defensive stock but recently it has been correcting to the downside. Tuesday's interim numbers might provide support and the stock could head back above £20. Capital Spreads’ quote for Imperial Tobacco is 1,959.0p-1,962.0p.

Oil and gas firm BG Group has seen its shares fall more than 10 per cent below January’s highs of £12.48 after criticism over a £28m pay packet for its boss Frank Chapman. But could its interim results, released this Thursday, help to arrest the slide? Spreadex has a June-based spread of 1,118.30p-1,125.7p.

Shares in Royal Dutch Shell rose above 2,000p for the first time since June 2008 last week. Malcolm Brinded, the firm’s executive director for exploration and production, has been warning that future energy demand will continue to put pressure on supply. A positive trading update from Shell on Wednesday could help the stock price push higher. ShortsandLongs.com has a rolling Shell spread of 1,967p-1,972.5p.

Lloyds Banking Group is once again back in the media spotlight. The partly state-owned bank is under fire for paying executive bonuses whilst Goldman Sachs’ involvement with Lloyds’ massive rights issue last November is also coming under scrutiny. Given the bank is confident of returning to profit this year, the remuneration issue is doubtless going to be a contentious one but the outcome of the general election could also impact the speed of any UK government exit strategy leaving the share price as one to watch in the next two weeks. The current IG Index price is 67.59p-67.75p.