UK Stocks-Factors to watch on May 1

LONDON Thu May 1, 2014 2:01am EDT

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LONDON May 1 (Reuters) - Britain's FTSE 100 index is seen opening 5 points higher, or 0.07 percent, according to financial bookmakers.

* The UK blue chip index closed 0.2 percent higher at 6,780.03 points in the previous session after hitting an intraday peak of 6,794.88, the highest level since early March.

* Trading volumes are likely to be thin as other stock markets in Europe are closed for the May Day holiday.

* The Dow Jones industrial average closed at its first record high of 2014 on Wednesday after the U.S. Federal Reserve gave an upbeat view of the economy's prospects as it announced another cut to its massive bond-buying programme.

* The Fed said in a statement it would reduce its monthly bond purchases to $45 billion from $55 billion, as expected. That will keep it on track to end the programme as soon as October.

* RECKITT BENCKISER - The company is no longer in active talks with Merck & Co about buying its consumer health business, it said on Wednesday.

* London copper slipped to a seven-session low on Thursday after China's manufacturing sector showed a slight improvement in April but missed forecasts, while prices were set to drift with top consumer China on a two-day break.

* Brent crude eased down towards $108 a barrel, not far above its lowest in more than two weeks, as a potential rise in Libya's oil supply and record-high inventories in the United States weighed on prices.

* UK CORPORATE DIARY:

BG GROUP PLC Q1

BRITISH SKY BROADCASTING GROUP PLC Q3

LLOYDS BANKING GROUP PLC Q1 TRADE

ROLLS-ROYCE HOLDINGS PLC TRADING

SCHRODERS PLC Q1 TRADE

SHIRE PLC Q1

SMITH & NEPHEW PLC Q1

SYNTHOMER PLC TRADING

WEIR GROUP PLC Q1 TRADE

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 (Reporting by Atul Prakash, editing by Tricia Wright)

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