UK Stocks-Factors to watch on Wednesday, Feb. 5

LONDON Wed Feb 5, 2014 1:54am EST

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LONDON Feb 5 (Reuters) - Britain's FTSE 100 index is seen opening down 21 to 31 points, or as much as 0.5 percent, lower on Wednesday, according to financial bookmakers.

* The blue-chip FTSE 100 index closed down by 0.3 percent, or 16.39 points, at 6,449.27 points - its lowest close since December.

* Ex-divs will trim 1.04 points off the FTSE 100 on Wednesday, as Unilever trades without entitlement for its latest dividend payout.

* RETAILERS - British retailers slashed prices at the fastest rate in at least seven years during the January sales, industry figures showed on Wednesday, highlighting tough trading conditions despite an improving economy.

* RSA - British insurer RSA has appointed former Royal Bank of Scotland boss Stephen Hester as its new chief executive with immediate effect, replacing Simon Lee who quit in December.

* LLOYDS - Lloyds Banking Group's Chief Executive Officer Antonio Horta-Osorio could be awarded and would accept a bonus of up to 2 million pounds ($3.26 million) in coming weeks, Sky News reported on Tuesday, citing Whitehall sources.

* PUNCH TAVERNS - Britain's second biggest pubs group will warn its lenders on Wednesday that failure to pass a controversial debt restructuring deal could lead to at least five years of "mess" and "uncertainty", the Telegraph reported.

* UK CORPORATE DIARY:

DAILY MAIL AND GENERAL TRUST PLC Q1 TRADE

GLAXOSMITHKLINE PLC Q4

GW PHARMACEUTICALS PLC Q1

HARGREAVES LANSDOWN PLC H1

HOMESERVE PLC TRADING

ICAP PLC Q3 TRADE

NEW EUROPE PROPERTY INVESTMENTS PLC PRELIM

WOLFSON MICROELECTRONICS PLC FINAL

TODAY'S UK PAPERS

> Financial Times

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