UPDATE 1-UK Stocks-Factors to watch on March 4

Tue Mar 4, 2014 2:38am EST

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LONDON, March 4 (Reuters) - Britain's FTSE 100 index is seen opening higher on Tuesday. Futures rose 1 percent by 0735 GMT ahead of the cash market open, with investors heartened by Russia's move to order troops in an area which borders crisis-hit Ukraine to return to their bases.

* The UK blue chip index closed down 101.35 points, or 1.5 percent, at 6,708.35 on Monday.

* UK Markit/CIPS February construction PMI is set for release at 0930 GMT.

* BP : A divided U.S. appeals court rejected BP Plc's bid to block businesses from recovering money over the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill, even if they could not trace their economic losses to the disaster.

* BRITISH AMERICAN TOBACCO : U.S. tobacco company RJ Reynolds is exploring a bid for rival Lorillard Inc , the Financial Times reported, citing people familiar with the situation. BAT owns about 40 percent of RJ Reynolds.

* SERCO : The embattled outsourcing group said it was braced for a tough 2014 as it recovers from the impact of government contract failures, profit warnings and management exits that pushed 2013 annual profit down 6 percent.

* FRESNILLO : The Mexican precious metals miner reported a 64 percent drop in pre-tax profit, falling short of analyst expectations, hit by tumbling gold and silver prices last year and a ban on the use of explosives at one of its mines.

* GLENCORE XSTRATA : Glencore Xstrata posted forecast-beating core profit in the first set of full annual results since the commodities group was formed, helped by a strong performance of its trading arm offsetting a decline in its mining division.

* ASHTEAD : The industrial equipment hire group raised its full-year profit expectation after strong demand in the United States and Britain helped drive its profits 54 percent higher in the third quarter.

TODAY'S UK PAPERS

> Financial Times

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