UK Stocks-Factors to watch on Wednesday, March 26

miércoles 26 de marzo de 2014 03:48 GYT

LONDON, March 26 (Reuters) - Britain's FTSE 100 index is seen opening a touch higher on Wednesday, with June futures on the index up 0.2 percent at 0745 GMT. For more on the factors affecting European stocks, please click on

* The UK blue-chip index rose 84.50 points, or 1.3 percent, to 6,604.89 points on Tuesday, bouncing off of a six-week closing low after Kingfisher and easyJet posted updates that raised optimism about the outlook for corporate earnings this year.

* Four FTSE 100 stocks, including insurer Prudential, are due to go ex dividend on Wednesday, knocking between 3.27 and 3.64 points off the index.

* LLOYDS BANKING GROUP : Britain sold 4.2 billion pounds ($6.9 billion) of shares in Lloyds to cut its stake in the country's largest retail bank to 25 percent and put it on course for a complete exit in the next year at a profit.

* ASTRAZENECA : The British group has raised its bet on Japan's drug market by buying out the remaining stake held by Sumitomo Chemical in its Japanese unit AstraZeneca.

* SSE : The British utility said on Wednesday it will split its wholesale and retail divisions by March 2015, and will freeze its household energy prices until at least January 2016.

* STANDARD LIFE : The British insurer announced on Wednesday the acquisition of Ignis Asset Management from Phoenix Holdings for 390 million pounds ($643.71 million).

* LEGAL & GENERAL GROUP PLC : The British life insurance and pensions provider said on Wednesday it had won a 3 billion pound ($5 billion) bulk annuity contract with the ICI Pension Fund.

* TUI TRAVEL : Europe's biggest tour operator by revenues said bookings for its key summer period were progressing in line with its expectations, giving it confidence it would meet a target for annual profit growth of 7 to 10 percent.   Continuación...