LONDON, April 3 (Reuters) - Britain's FTSE 100 index is seen opening up 8-9 points on Thursday, according to financial bookmakers. For more on the factors affecting European stocks, please click on
* The UK blue chip index closed up 6.43 points, or 0.1 percent, at 6,659.04 points on Wednesday, its highest close since March 11, propped up by cyclical banks and mining companies on encouraging economic news in the United States.
* Euro zone monetary policy will fall under the spotlight today as the European Central Bank holds its regular meeting.
The ECB looks set to keep interest rates steady and offer no new aid to the euro zone's fragile recovery despite a fall in inflation to its lowest in more than four years.
* VODAFONE GROUP : The mobile operator said it would add 150 shops and create 1,400 jobs across the United Kingdom during the next 12 months in a 100 million pound ($166.3 million) investment.
* ROYAL BANK OF SCOTLAND : Part-nationalised RBS said it will close 44 branches, of which 14 are classed as "Last Banks in Town", in the UK and Scotland.
TODAY'S UK PAPERS
> Financial Times
> Other business headlines Multimedia versions of Reuters Top News are now available for: * 3000 Xtra : visit topnews.session.rservices.com * BridgeStation: view story .134 For more information on Top News visit topnews.reuters.com ($1 = 0.6012 British Pounds) (Reporting by Tricia Wright; Editing by Sudip Kar-Gupta)