UPDATE 1-UK Stocks-Factors to watch on Thursday Feb 14
LONDON Feb 14 (Reuters) - Futures on Britain's FTSE 100 fall by 0.1 percent ahead of the open on Thursday. For more on the factors affecting European stocks, please click on
* Britain's top share index closed up 20.73 points, or 0.3 percent, at 6,359.11 on Wednesday, and touched an intraday high of 6,384.70 - its highest in five-years - buoyed by a squeeze on short-sellers.
* Economists expect the EU statistics office Eurostat to show that the bloc's output shrank 0.4 percent in the fourth quarter, after contracting 0.1 percent in the third quarter and 0.2 percent in the second. German GDP shrunk 0.6 percent in the fourth quarter.
* BANKS - Regulation of the banking sector will be in focus, with the European Commission set to present proposals for a tax on financial transactions in 11 EU member states and the U.S. Senate set to hold a hearing about the oversight of financial stability.
* RIO TINTO - World no.3 miner Rio Tinto reported a 47 percent plunge in half-year underlying profit on Thursday, its worst since 2009 due to sharp falls in commodity prices, but raised its dividend by more than expected.
* AMEC - The British engineering firm said its annual earnings were up 11 percent thanks to a surge in oil and gas revenue, enabling it to offer a 20 percent hike in its dividend.
* ABERDEEN ASSET MANAGEMENT - The blue-chip asset management firm is to acquire Artio Global Investors for $175 million.
* ROLLS ROYCE - The engine maker reported a 24 percent rise in full-year profit, led by strong growth at its civil aerospace unit. The company also announced the departure of chairman Sir Simon Robertson and the appointment of his successor, BP executive Ian Davis.
* LONDON STOCK EXCHANGE - The London Stock Exchange is to launch a new niche market next month featuring less stringent listing terms for fast-growing companies wanting to raise funds on Britain's stock market.
* HALMA - The technology group expects adjusted profit for the full year to be in line with market expectations.
* SHIRE PLC - The pharmaceutical firm reports final results at midday.
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 Alistair Smout, editing by Tricia Wright)
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