* Britain’s FTSE 100 index is seen opening lower on Wednesday as concerns about the European crisis resurface, likely prompting investors to book profits on a four session long rally.
* Futures on the benchmark index were down 0.6 percent by 0625 GMT. Earlier, financial bookmakers forecast the UK market could open down 15-30 points, or as much as 0.6 percent. For more on the factors affecting European stocks, please click on
* The UK blue chip index gained 34.80 points, or 0.7 percent, to 5,391.14 points on Tuesday - its highest close in a week, albeit in low volumes.
* All eyes will be on the European Commission’s setting out of its economic strategy for the euro zone. It will spell out measures to balance growth with unpopular fiscal consolidation that will be particularly pointed for Spain and Italy.
* ECB policymaker Ewald Nowotny’s comment that it is up to national governments, not the European Central Bank, to rescue banks that get into trouble could come as a blow to Spain, which is struggling to recapitalise Bankia.
* Hopes of fresh growth-boosting measures from China took a knock when influential Chinese academics said Beijing should not launch a new round of aggressive fiscal stimulus.
* Oil prices steadied on Wednesday, but with crude on track for its worst month in two years, this was unlikely to offer much respite to Britain’s heavyweight energy companies, who face lower profits in future.
* Companies going ex-dividend are set to take around 4.65 points off the FTSE 100 on Wednesday, including National Grid and Marks & Spencer .
* SEVERN TRENT - says full year underlying pretax profit fell 4.6 percent to 275.3 million sterling, beating estimates of 259.3 million.
* GLENCORE - Shareholders of Canada’s largest grain handler, Viterra Inc , voted overwhelmingly on Tuesday in favour of a friendly takeover bid by the UK-listed Swiss commodities trader, pushing the biggest deal in years for the global agricultural sector closer to reality. Glencore welcomed the news.
* ANGLO AMERICAN - Codelco is preparing for fresh talks with the UK miner to try to end their legal battle as the Chilean company adapts to the departure of its chief executive last week after a boardroom tug-of-war, Financial Times reports.
* ROYAL DUTCH SHELL - CEO says sees slight recovery in North American natural gas price by 2014-15.
* BG - sells interest in Philippines power plants, sees net cash proceeds of $360 million.
* AMEC - buys Unidel for an initial cash consideration of A$27 million, with further payments subject to profit targets.
* Wednesday’s thin UK diary features Severn Trent and no first tier economic data.
TODAY‘S UK PAPERS
> Financial Times
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