UK Stocks-Factors to watch on Feb 19
LONDON Feb 19 (Reuters) - Britain's FTSE 100 index is seen opening 16 to 18 points lower, or down by 0.3 percent on Thursday, according to financial bookmakers. The FTSE 100 futures contract for March were down by 0.1 percent. For more on the factors affecting European stocks, please click on
* The UK blue chip index closed flat at 6,898.08 points on Wednesday, stalling after earlier reaching a 15-year high of 6,921.32 points.
* GREECE: Greece is expected to ask on Thursday for an extension to its "loan agreement" with the euro zone as it faces running out of cash within weeks, but it must overcome resistance from sceptical partners led by Germany.
* REXAM : British drinks can maker Rexam Plc said U.S. rival Ball Corp had made a cash-and-stock offer that valued the company at about 4.43 billion pounds ($6.85 billion).
* BAE SYSTEMS : Europe's biggest defence contractor BAE Systems said it expected earnings to rise marginally this year after it reported annual earnings broadly in line with forecasts.
* SAB MILLER : International brewer SABMiller said on Thursday the group's chief financial officer Jamie Wilson had resigned for personal reasons and will leave on March 31, the end of the firm's current financial year.
* CENTRICA : Utility Centrica posted lower annual profits.
* SPORTS DIRECT : Britain's biggest sporting goods retailer Sports Direct saw sales growth slow across its Christmas quarter, in part due to a weak winter sports season that proved challenging for its Austrian business. Continuación...