UPDATE 1-UK Stocks-Factors to watch on Jan. 21
(adds futures, company news items)
Jan 21 (Reuters) - Britain's FTSE 100 index is seen opening up marginally, with futures up 0.12 pct ahead of the cash market open. For more on the factors affecting European stocks, please click on
* The UK blue chip index ended 3.5 percent lower at 5,673.58 points on Wednesday, after earlier touching its lowest level in more than three years, as concerns about China triggered a sharp decline in commodities-related stocks. The index has fallen more than 20 percent since its peak in April, confirming that it is in "bear market" territory.
* OIL: Oil prices dipped on Thursday, erasing modest early gains as analysts said a persistent global surplus of crude would keep pressuring the market, after hitting their lowest levels since 2003 in the previous session.
* BARCLAYS: Barclays will close its cash equities business across Asia and exit Korea and Taiwan, a person with direct knowledge of the matter told Reuters on Thursday, as part of a global cost-cutting plan aimed at boosting profits.
* GSK: Five people, including two former GlaxoSmithKline researchers, were charged with a scheme to steal trade secrets from the British drugmaker for potential sale in China, according to indictments announced by the U.S. Attorney's Office in Philadelphia on Wednesday.
* BHP BILLITON: Brazilian mining company Samarco Mineração S.A., co-owned by BHP Billiton and Vale said on Wednesday CEO Ricardo Vescovi and Director of Operations Kleber Terra had temporarily stepped aside to focus on preparing their defense in the wake of November's mine disaster.
* ENTERTAINMENT ONE: U.S. activist hedge fund Livermore Partners is calling on Canadian and UK media firm Entertainment One to slow down its pace of dealmaking and improve its cash flow, the fund's top executive said. Continuación...