LONDON, April 15 (Reuters) - Britain's FTSE 100 .FTSE index is seen opening 35-41 points, or as much as 1 percent lower on Wednesday, according to financial bookmakers, reflecting falls overnight on Wall Street and in Asia.
The UK blue chip index closed 5.28 points, or 0.1 percent firmer on Tuesday at 3,988.99. The FTSE 100 index remains 9.4 percent lower for the year, having fallen more than 31 percent in 2008.
The Chancellor of the Exchequer is set to announce a state guarantee scheme to support supply-chain insurance in next week's budget, according to government insiders, the Financial Times said.
The scheme will be at the heart of budget initiatives designed to help small to medium-sized businesses cope with the recession and comes after months of talks with insurers.
Meanwhile, the sharp fall in English and Welsh house prices continued in March, though the pace of decline was the slowest since February last year after fast-rising new buyer interest translated into a modest increase in sales, a survey showed on Wednesday.
The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors' monthly property survey said its seasonally adjusted house price balance rose to -73.1 in March from -78.1 in February. [ID:nLE259356]
No other domestic economic data is due for release on Wednesday but after U.S. retail sales numbers surprised on the downside on Tuesday investors will keep a keen eye on March U.S. CPI and industrial production figures.
China's annual GDP growth slipped to a record low in the first quarter, but the quarter-on-quarter increase might point to a recovery, a domestic news portal reported on Wednesday. [ID:nPEK270601]
Ex-dividend factors will take 0.81 points off the FTSE 100 index on Wednesday, with Legal & General (LGEN.L), Smith & Nephew (SN.L) and Tullow Oil (TLW.L) all losing their dividend attractions.
The impact will be even greater for the FTSE 250 index with no fewer than 16 mid caps trading ex-dividend.
* Weak retail sales, Goldman hit Wall St; eBay up late [ID:nLF528548]
* Nikkei extends losses as yen rises, exporters fall [ID:nT168227]
* GLOBAL MARKETS-Asia stocks retreat, China hopes limit drop [ID:nSP133941]
* FOREX-Dollar and yen inch up as stocks decline [ID:nT157065]
* TREASURIES-Bonds climb on falling retail sales data [ID:nLF707094]
* Oil hovers above $49, eyes US inventory data [ID:nLF375031]
* Gold little changed at $890/oz, eyes stock market [ID:nT163814]
* Copper eases from 6-mth highs on soggy US data [ID:nSP59984]
UK stocks to watch on Wednesday are:
RIO TINTO (RIO.L)
Rio Tinto's first-quarter aluminium output fell 6 percent as the world's biggest producer attempted to better balance supply with sinking global demand from industrial sectors, the company said on Wednesday.
ANGLO AMERICAN (AAL.L)
Anglo American is poised to face protests on Wednesday over its proposed new mine in Bristol Bay, Alaska, amid concerns that pollution from it could hit the fishing industry, worth 154 million pounds a year, The Times said.
The miner will hold its annual general meeting.
British retailers blamed the poor weather over the Easter weekend for a 5 percent drop in overall footfall as the downturn in the housing market continued to hit furniture and electrical goods, The Times said.
The ferrochrome producer will post first-quarter output numbers.
WS ATKINS ATKW.L
The outsourcing firm will issue a trading update.
SSL INTERNATIONAL SSL.L
The condoms to footwear group will deliver a trading update.
The brewer and pubs operator will post a trading update.
The biotech firm will hold a shareholders meeting.
BERKELEY GROUP BKG_u.L
The housebuilder will hold an emergency general meeting.
TODAY'S UK PAPERS
> Financial Times [PRESS/FT]
> Other business headlines [PRESS/GB]
(Reporting by Jon Hopkins)