LONDON Feb 20 Britain's FTSE 100 index is seen opening down 1 to 8 points, or as much as 0.1 percent lower on Wednesday, according to financial bookmakers. For more on the factors affecting European stocks, please click on
* The UK blue chip index closed 60.88 points higher on Tuesday, up 1 percent, at 6,379.07, posting its highest close in five years, with a German confidence survey that beat expectations fuelling appetite for equities.
* Ex-dividend factors will take 8.09 points off the index on Wednesday, as Barclays, Carnival, GlaxoSmithKline and Reckitt Benckiser all trade without entitlement to their latest dividend payout.
* OIL AND ENERGY - Heavyweight energy stocks could suffer from a retreat in oil prices after industry sources said Saudi Arabia expects to raise its output in the second quarter to satisfy higher demand from China.
* BHP BILLITON - the blue-chip miner appoints the head of its non-ferrous business as its new chief executive on Wednesday to replace Marius Kloppers, as it reported an expected 43 percent drop in half-year profit.
* TELECOMS - The winning bidders for the UK's 4G networks are expected to be announced on Wednesday.
* The Bank of England publishes minutes from its latest Monetary Policy Committee meeting, where it held policy constant, at 0930 GMT, with investors keeping an eye open for clues of where future policy may be headed. The U.S. Federal Reserve releases the minutes of its own Federal Open Market Committee meeting after market close.
* The day also sees the release of a slew of data, including UK unemployment figures, U.S. housing starts and euro zone consumer confidence.
* German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Economy Minister Philipp Roesler are set to speak at 1030 GMT tomorrow at a conference celebrating 50 years of the panel of economic advisers to the German government
* UK CORPORATE DIARY:
CENTAUR MEDIA PLC gives first half results.
GALLIFORD TRY PLC reports first half results
LONDON CAPITAL GROUP HLDG PLC announces preliminary results
A & J MUCKLOW GROUP P L C provides first half results
RATHBONE BROTHERS PLC - The brokerage reports preliminary results
REXAM PLC announces final results.
RSA INSURANCE GROUP PLC provides preliminary results
STV GROUP PLC announces preliminary results.
SPECTRIS PLC reports preliminary results.
TRAVIS PERKINS PLC is scheduled to report preliminary results
TODAY'S UK PAPERS
> Financial Times
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