European Factors to Watch-Shares seen lower, traders cite Ukraine worries

LONDON Thu Feb 27, 2014 1:19am EST

LONDON Feb 27 (Reuters) - European stocks were seen slightly lower on Thursday, with worries about escalating political tensions in Ukraine expected to weigh on equities, which have rallied in February to leave some markets near record highs.

Financial spreadbetters expected Britain's FTSE 100 to open down by 4-6 points, or 0.1 percent, and for Germany's DAX to also open down by 7-9 points, or 0.1 percent. Spreadbetters expected France's CAC 40 to open flat.

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday ordered drills by his armed forces to test combat readiness in western Russia, near the border with Ukraine, prompting the United States to warn that a military intervention would be a "grave mistake."

The blue-chip pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index fell 0.2 percent to 1,348.75 points on Wednesday, easing back after a 7 percent rise from a low hit on Feb. 4, with the FTSE 100 and DAX within sight of record highs.

Europe bourses in 2014:

Asset performance in 2014:------------------------------------------------------------------------------ > GLOBAL MARKETS-Asian shares soft as Ukraine dampens risk sentiment

> US STOCKS-S&P 500 ends near flat; retailers fly for a second day > > TREASURIES-Prices rise, demand strong at five-year auction > FOREX-Dollar near 2-week high as geopolitical tensions heat up > PRECIOUS-Gold off 4-month high; premiums slip in Singapore, Tokyo > METALS-London copper slips to 12-week low on risk aversion, China worries

> Brent eases towards $109 on demand worries; supply fears support

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