* Britain's FTSE 100 index is seen opening up 4-6 points, or 0.1 percent on Wednesday, according to financial bookmakers, steadying after further triple-digit falls in the previous session. For more on the factors affecting European stocks, please click on
* The UK blue chip index closed down 100.51 points, or 1.8 percent on Tuesday at 5,554.55, nearly matching Friday's 1.9 percent slide ahead of the UK bank holiday weekend to hit its lowest closing level this year.
* British retail sales posted their biggest fall in more than a year last month and growth in the number of people placed in permanent jobs in Britain slowed, raising the risk of another quarter of economic contraction.
* No other domestic economic data are due on Wednesday. Across the Atlantic, March U.S. wholesale inventories will be released at 1400 GMT.
* GLENCORE The commodities trader faced calls for greater transparency around its deals in Congo, among its most promising but most controversial, as it prepares for its first shareholder meeting since listing.
* THOMAS COOK GROUP The travel firm is set to announce the departure of chief financial officer Paul Hollingworth this week, dealing another blow to the world's oldest travel group, the Financial Times reported on Wednesday.
* WILLIAM HILL The chairman of William Hill mounted the first corporate fightback against the "Shareholder Spring" on Tuesday and criticised investors for blindly voting against the company's pay policies, the Daily Telegraph said.
* Spot gold and silver prices fell to their lowest levels since early January on Wednesday, pressured by a weakening euro as investors fretted about political upheaval in Greece.
* London copper futures inched up on Wednesday after hitting two-week lows near $8,000 a tonne in the previous session, ahead of Chinese data this week that is expected to show the economy of the world's top copper user has bottomed out as inflation slows and output picks up.
* Brent crude slipped towards $112 on Wednesday, maintaining its downtrend for a sixth session as political uncertainty in the debt-laden euro zone and rising oil stocks in the United States revived worries about fuel demand.
* Stocks trading without the entitlement to their latest dividend will chop a hefty 15.37 points off the FTSE 100 index on Wednesday. Aberdeen Asset Management, Antofagasta, BP, Bunzl, G4S , GlaxoSmithKline, Randgold Resources, Rexam, Royal Dutch Shell, and Unilever all going ex-dividend.
* UK CORPORATE DIARY:
J SAINSBURY posts full-year results,
INTERCONTINENTAL HOTELS reports first-quarter results.
PRUDENTIAL issues a first-quarter trading update.
RESOLUTION issues a first-quarter trading update.
SAGE GROUP unveils first-half results.
WEIR GROUP issues a trading update.
CRH issues an AGM trading update.
RIO TINTO holds its annual general meeting.
ITV holds its annual general meeting.
UNILEVER holds its annual general meeting.
STANDARD CHARTERED holds its annual general meeting.
INMARSAT issues a first-quarter trading update.
BALFOUR BEATTY issues a first-quarter trading update.
CARPHONE WAREHOUSE GROUP issues a trading update
EASYJET reveals first-half results
F&C ASSET MANAGEMENT issues a first-quarter trading update.
COSTAIN GROUP issues a trading update
RIGHTMOVE holds its annual general meeting.
SAVILLS holds its annual general meeting.
FUTURA MEDICAL holds its annual general meeting.
KATANGA MINING holds its annual general meeting.
KBC ADVANCED TECHNOLOGIES holds its annual general meeting.
MELROSE holds its annual general meeting.
PITTARDS holds its annual general meeting.
TODAY'S UK PAPERS
> Financial Times
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