January 8, 2014 / 7:02 AM / 4 years ago

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

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

* The UK blue chip index rose to a one-week high in 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.

* 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.

* 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.

* 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.

* 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.

TODAY‘S UK PAPERS

> Financial Times

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