UK Stocks-Factors to watch on August 26

LONDON Tue Aug 26, 2014 2:39am EDT

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LONDON Aug 26 (Reuters) - Britain's FTSE 100 index is seen opening up 36-37 points, or 0.5 percent higher on Tuesday, according to financial bookmakers. For more on the factors affecting European stocks, please click on

* Futures for the index were up 0.5 percent by 0637 GMT.

* The London stock market, closed on Monday for a public holiday, is set to play catch up with an advance seen in Europe on Monday fuelled by comments by European Central Bank President Mario Draghi which raised expectations of further policy easing.

Draghi, speaking at a global central banking conference in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, said late on Friday the bank was prepared to respond with all its "available" tools should inflation drop further.

* The FTSE 100 slipped off three-week highs on Friday to close down 2.41 points - flat in percentage terms - at 6,775.25 points.

The FTSE 100 hit a peak of 6,894.88 points in mid-May, its highest level in more than 14 years, but the market has since given up much of that ground partly down to worries over conflicts in Ukraine and also in Iraq.

* Britain's slow wage growth is not certain to pick up any time soon, despite signs of skills shortages, Bank of England deputy governor Ben Broadbent said in a speech on Saturday.

* ANTOFAGASTA : The London-listed Chilean copper miner posted an 11.5 percent fall in its first half core profit, hit by higher production costs and lower copper prices.

* PETROFAC : The British oil and gas services company Petrofac reported a 44 percent fall in first-half profit, hurt by slow progress at some of its projects.

* WPP : WPP, the world's largest advertising group, reported a 1.5 percent rise in first-half headline pretax profit to 532 million pounds ($882 million), slightly ahead of forecasts, and reaffirmed its net sales operating margin improvement target for the year of 0.3 percentage points in constant currency.

* BUNZL : The British business supplies distributor reported a 5 percent rise in pretax profits in the first half of its financial year due to strong growth in its international markets segment.

* BG GROUP : The oil giant has quietly begun looking for a buyer for part of its prized Tanzanian operation, the Sunday Times reported. It is understood the company wants to sell its entire 60 percent stake in an exploration area in Tanzania known as Block 3, while holding on to Blocks 1 and 4, the newspaper said.

* LONMIN : The chief executive of the platinum producer denied assertions from mining industry sources that the company aimed to cut around 5,700 jobs as part of a drive to restore profits after a five-month strike.

* BALFOUR BEATTY : Balfour Beatty is to embark on a City charm offensive to appease disgruntled investors - including a hike in the value of its book of infrastructure investments - after the collapse of merger talks with smaller rival Carillion, the Sunday Times reported.

Balfour is expected this week to pump up the value of its book of private finance initiative contracts from 766 million pounds to more than 1 billion pounds, the newspaper said.

* HSBC : HSBC Holdings Plc was sued for $250 million on Friday for allegedly ignoring red flags that a colorful British entrepreneur, the late David Elias, was committing fraud through an investment vehicle he controlled.

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 Tricia Wright; editing by Blaise Robinson)

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