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

Wed Feb 5, 2014 2:31am 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. Futures fell 0.4 percent ahead of the cash market open.

* 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.

* IMPERIAL TOBACCO - The tobacco company has appointed Karen Witts to the board as a independent non-executive director to the company, where she will join new chairman Mark Williamson.

* HARGREAVES LANSDOWN - Investment manager Hargreaves Lansdown saw a sharp jump in new clients in the second half of 2013, more than a third of them joining to buy shares in Royal Mail, which listed on the stock market in October.

* WOLFSON MICROELECTRONICS - The British chip maker swung to an underlying loss in the final quarter of 2014 after it said a faster-than-anticipated switch to 4G mobile caused it to lose ground to a competitor.

* ICAP - Interdealer broker ICAP said third quarter revenue was 6 percent lower than the previous year due to challenging market conditions.

* DAILY MAIL & GENERAL TRUST - The British media group reported on Wednesday revenue of 472 million pounds ($769 million) in the three months to Dec. 31, a 6 percent year-on-year increase.

* HOMESERVE - The home emergency repair firm said it is making good progress in stabilising its British business, adding that it expects adjusted profit before tax to be in line with market expectations.

* 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.

TODAY'S UK PAPERS

> Financial Times

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