LONDON, March 12 (Reuters) - Britain’s FTSE 100 index is seen opening down by 41 to 43 points, or 0.6 percent lower, on Wednesday, according to financial bookmakers.
* The FTSE 100 futures contract was down by 0.5 percent at 0725 GMT, with traders citing Chinese credit concerns as weighing on the futures index.
* A host of blue-chip companies, including British American Tobacco and HSBC, go ex-dividend on Wednesday. The impact of those stocks going ex-dividend will take up to 21.7 points off the index.
* The UK blue chip index closed 0.06 percent lower at 6,685.52 points on Tuesday after falling up to 6,660.59, its lowest since the middle of February.
* COPPER: Shanghai copper fell by its five percent daily limit on Wednesday and London copper touched a 44-month low, as fears grew that credit-linked defaults in China could unlock copper from financing deals and unleash further selling.
* BRITISH EU REFERENDUM: A future Labour government would only hold a referendum on Britain’s membership of the European Union if more powers were transferred to Brussels, party leader Ed Miliband will say on Wednesday.
* ASTRAZENECA : AstraZeneca has agreed to sell its Alderley Park research site in northern England to a public-private partnership group as it moves drug discovery to a new global centre in Cambridge.
* PRUDENTIAL : Insurer Prudential Plc is due to post results at 0815 GMT.
* FERREXPO : Ukraine-focused iron ore miner Ferrexpo Plc said it was on track to complete its expansion programme as it posted an increase in annual earnings, helped by higher iron ore output offsetting weaker prices for the steelmaking ingredient.
* HOCHSCHILD : Latin American mining company Hochschild said on Wednesday it has scrapped dividend payments after full-year core earnings fell by half on the back of declining precious metals prices.
* FRENCH CONNECTION : British clothing retailer French Connection said its full-year underlying operating loss had narrowed to 4.4 million pounds.
* OCADO : British retailer Ocado posted a 22.6 percent rise in Q1 group sales.
* HIKMA PHARMACEUTICALS : Hikma Pharmaceuticals said it was expecting 2014 revenue growth of 5 percent.
* POUNDLAND : British discount retailer Poundland said its initial public offering (IPO) would value the company at 750 million pounds.
* LLOYDS : Lloyds Banking Group said on Tuesday it would cap the pensions of around 35,000 employees in a move that will boost income by 1 billion pounds ($1.66 billion) but risks a backlash from disgruntled employees.
* PAYDAY LOAN FIRMS: Britain’s financial watchdog will review in April how payday lenders collect debts and impose a cap from early 2015 on the sky-high interest rates criticised by politicians and churches.
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