UK Stocks-Factors to watch on Thursday Dec. 5

LONDON Thu Dec 5, 2013 1:57am EST

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LONDON Dec 5 (Reuters) - Britain's FTSE 100 index is seen opening down 16 points, or 0.2 percent lower on Thursday, according to financial bookmakers.

* The UK blue chip index ended down 22.46 points, or 0.3 percent, at 6,509.97 points on Wednesday, its lowest close since Oct. 14. The index is currently down 2.1 percent this week, putting it on course for its biggest weekly drop since late June.

* Investors were eyeing central bank rate decisions later in the day. While the Bank of England and the European Central Bank are likely to hold off any fresh policy action, the ECB's new staff forecasts will be in focus for signs of prolonged price weakness that could lead it to act again next year.

* For the first time since taking office in 2010, finance minister George Osborne is set to present a more upbeat message about Britain's finances and economy in a budget update on Thursday.

* UK CORPORATE DIARY:

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> Financial Times

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