REFILE-UK Stocks-Factors to watch on Wednesday, Jan. 8

Wed Jan 8, 2014 2:35am EST

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LONDON Jan 8 (Reuters) - Britain's FTSE 100 index is seen opening flat on Wednesday, according to financial bookmakers.

* Futures for the index were up 0.1 percent by 0727 GMT.

* The UK blue chip index rose the previous session, with gains in financial stocks pushing the index towards major technical resistance levels. It closed 24.72 points, or 0.4 percent, higher at 6,755.45 points.

* J SAINSBURY - The British grocer posted a small rise in underlying sales in its Christmas quarter, though its rate of growth slowed.

* ASTRAZENECA - The drugmaker has signed a deal with private British biotech company Immunocore to boost its experimental cancer drug pipeline as it seeks to find new medicines to replace those going off patent.

* LLOYDS BANKING GROUP - A mass sell-off of the government's 33 percent stake in Lloyds Banking Group has moved a step closer after the management of the bailed out bank was asked by UK Financial Investments, which looks after the taxpayer's shares, to draw up the detailed information needed for a sale, the Guardian newspaper and Sky News reported.

* GLENCORE XSTRATA - The company's Pasar copper smelter in the Philippines plans to restart as soon as January 15, after being damaged by Typhoon Haiyan in November, two sources said on Wednesday.

* British high street stores offered their biggest pre-Christmas discounts in at least seven years last month, industry figures showed on Wednesday, highlighting tough trading conditions despite an improving economy.

* PERSIMMON - The British housebuilder said full year revenues jumped 21 percent.

* BAE SYSTEMS - The company chose Jerry DeMuro to head its U.S. business, pinning its hopes on the former General Dynamics executive to steer the weapons maker through U.S. military cuts that are expected to bite over the next decade.

* SSE - The British energy supplier will cut its prices in response to a government pledge to remove some taxes and social charges from bills by the end of the current financial year, later than most of its rivals, the company said late on Tuesday.

* FERREXPO - The Ukrainian iron ore miner said its iron ore pellet output rose to a record high for the company in 2013 even as production fell slightly in the last quarter of the year.

* Brent crude held its ground above $107 per barrel, supported by new worries over Libyan supplies and expectations of another drop in U.S. crude inventories.

* MOTHERCARE - British mother and baby products retailer Mothercare warned that annual profit would be below current market forecasts, hit by Christmas discounting in Britain, plus weak economic conditions and currency deflation overseas.

TODAY'S UK PAPERS

> Financial Times

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