LONDON Feb 27 Britain's FTSE 100 index is seen opening
up 5 to 6 points, or as much as 0.1 percent higher on Wednesday, according to
financial bookmakers. For more on the factors affecting European stocks, please
* The FTSE 100 ended down 84.93 points, or 1.3 percent, at 6,270.44
on Tuesday, its lowest close since Feb. 8, with weak banks and commodity stocks
sending Britain's top shares to a more than two-week closing low on Tuesday
after an inconclusive election result in Italy revived euro zone debt crisis
* Ex-divs will take 1.8 points off the index, as only Diageo trades
without entitlement to its latest divdend payout.
* Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke strongly defended the U.S. central
bank's monetary stimulus before Congress on Tuesday, aiding strong gains in U.S.
stock markets after Europe's close, nearly a week after the Federal Reserve's
minutes showed that some officials were considering slowing or stopping their
stimulus programme, sparking the biggest fall in the FTSE 100 since July.
* BANKS - The European parliament and EU states could agree on Wednesday to
impose caps on bankers' bonuses, as negotiations to introduce a cap on bankers'
bonuses in the European Union resume a week after European lawmakers and
ambassadors from countries failed to reach a deal.
* BP - A senior executive insisted that blame for the 2010 Gulf of
Mexico disaster should be shared after hearing claims that BP profits above
safety in the first day of court testimony over the case.
* LLOYDS - The Co-Operative Bank's deal to buy more than 600
branches from Lloyds Banking Group is under threat as the Co-op faces a 1
billion pound capital hole, the Financial Times reported.
* TESCO - Britain's biggest retailer will pay a reduced 6.5 million
pound penalty to the UK's competition watchdog, after the parties reached a
settlement on a price-fixing probe.
* UK CORPORATE DIARY:
BARRATT DEVELOPMENTS PLC reports first half results
CHEMRING GROUP PLC gives a trading update
CARILLION PLC announces preliminary results
HENDERSON GROUP PLC reports final results
INTU PROPERTIES PLC announces preliminary results
INTERSERVE PLC provides preliminary results
ITV PLC reports final results
JAZZTEL PLC announces results for fourth quarter trade
OXFORD BIOMEDICA PLC releases preliminary results
PETROFAC LTD reports preliminary results
PROMETHEAN WORLD PLC announces preliminary results
RESTAURANT GROUP PLC reports preliminary results
SEGRO PLC releases final results
SYNECTICS PLC announces preliminary results
WEIR GROUP PLC reports preliminary results
TODAY'S UK PAPERS
> Financial Times
> Other business headlines
Multimedia versions of Reuters Top News are now available for:
* 3000 Xtra : visit* BridgeStation: view story .134(Reporting by Alistair Smout; Editing by Sudip Kar-Gupta)