UK Stocks-Factors to watch on March 6

Thu Mar 6, 2014 2:36am EST

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LONDON, March 6 (Reuters) - Britain's FTSE 100 index is seen opening 9 to 11 points higher, or up as much as 0.2 percent, on Thursday, according to financial bookmakers.

* Futures for the benchmark index are up 0.2 percent at 0730 GMT.

* The UK blue chip index closed down 48.35 points, or 0.7 percent, at 6,775.42 points in the previous session.

* The Bank of England's policy decisions will be announced at 1200 GMT. Analysts expect no change in interest rates or in its quantitative easing programme.

* AVIVA - British insurer Aviva has unveiled a 6 percent increase in operating profit for 2013, one year into a financial spring clean of the company's businesses.

* BHP BILLITON - South African state power utility Eskom declared a new power emergency on Thursday. BHP Billiton is Eskom's single biggest customer.

* IMI - British engineer IMI said adjusted pretax profit for the full year rose 8 percent boosted by a surge in orders in its severe service division, which caters mainly to the energy market.

* AGGREKO - The world's biggest temporary power provider said it would return 200 million pounds ($334 million) of cash to shareholders, as it posted an expected 8 percent fall in full year results.

* SCHRODERS - Fund manager Schroders posted higher-than-expected pre-tax profit growth before exceptional items of 41 percent for 2013, helped by acquisitions and flows of new money.

* ST. JAMES'S PLACE, BARRATT DEVELOPMENTS - Wealth manager St. James's Place and housebuilder Barratt Developments will be promoted to the blue-chip index of top British companies from the FTSE 250 index later this month, the FTSE Group said late on Wednesday.

* Brent crude held steady just below $108 a barrel, as investors looked for direction after a heavy sell-off in the two previous sessions prompted by easing geopolitical risk over the crisis in Ukraine and U.S. data suggesting weaker oil demand.

* High-level diplomatic efforts to resolve the crisis in Ukraine made little apparent headway at talks in Paris on Wednesday, with Moscow and Washington at odds and Russia's foreign minister refusing to recognise his Ukrainian counterpart.

TODAY'S UK PAPERS

> Financial Times

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