UPDATE 1-UK Stocks-Factors to watch on Jan 7
(Adds company news, futures)
Jan 7 (Reuters) - Britain's FTSE 100 index is seen opening down 77-79 points, or 1.3 percent, on Thursday, according to financial bookmakers, with futures down 1.77 percent by 0728 GMT ahead of the cash market open. For more on the factors affecting European stocks, please click on
* The UK blue chip index FTSE 100 index closed down 1 percent at 6,073.38 points on Wednesday, as shares in commodity-related companies were hit by new worries over China, the world's largest consumer of metals, while North Korea's nuclear test added to investors' nervousness.
* LLOYDS BANK: The U.K.'s financial watchdog is investigating possible manipulation of the British government-bond market by traders at Lloyds Banking Group PLC, according to people familiar with the matter, The Wall Street Journal reported.(on.wsj.com/1ON9f2C)
* POUNDLAND: British discount retailer Poundland said fewer shoppers on the high street this Christmas hit its sales growth, and would result in profits coming towards the lower end of forecasts.
* PERSIMMON: Britain's second-biggest housebuilder by volume Persimmon said on Thursday that its revenue rose 13 percent last year as it built more homes, boosted by strong sales in the second half of the year.
* CENTAMIN: Centamin Plc forecast full-year production from its main Sukari gold mine in Egypt ahead of 2015, as it continues to ramp-up production in expanded areas of the mine.
* MARKS & SPENCER: Marc Bolland will step down as the boss of Marks & Spencer in April, bringing an end to six difficult years at the British retailer following yet another poor Christmas trading. Continuación...