(Adds futures, detail, company news)
LONDON, April 1 Britain's FTSE 100 index
is seen opening up higher on Tuesday, with June futures for the
index up 0.4 percent by 0639 GMT. For more on the
factors affecting European stocks, please click on
* The UK blue chip index closed down 17.21 points, or 0.3
percent, at 6,598.37 points on Monday, after a see-saw session
which saw it trade between 6,583-6,658, leaving it down 2.2
percent for the year on the last day of the first quarter.
* Persistent weakness in China's manufacturing sector was
seen lifting the chances of increased government spending to
spur growth. Investors were also reassured by dovish comments by
U.S. Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen, who suggested that the
central bank's stimulus measures would be required for some time
* WEIR GROUP : The engineer is said to be in talks
to takeover its Finnish rival Metso Oyj in an 8.5
billion pounds ($14.17 billion) deal to expand its industrial
pumps and valves market, the Times reported.
* BANKS: Hong Kong's de facto central bank said it is
investigating a number of banks as part of the global probe into
alleged manipulation of foreign exchange markets, as
investigations into the $5.3 trillion-a-day-market escalate.
* ROYAL MAIL : Britain's public spending watchdog
said the government's cautious approach to last year's sell-off
of state postal group Royal Mail had led to a sale price that
had short-changed the taxpayer.
* BT : A report by Public Accounts Committee has
accused BT of exploiting its monopoly position and criticised
the Government for failing to deliver "meaningful competition",
the Times reported.
* BABCOCK : The London Fire Brigade has named
engineering contractor Babcock International as the preferred
bidder on a 21-year contract to manage its vehicle fleet.
* ICAP : The broker said activity in its global
broking division dropped in February and March on account of
lower trading volumes on global markets.
* UK March Markit/CIPS manufacturing PMI data, set for
release at 0830 GMT, is set to show a small drop to 56.7 from
56.9, according to a Reuters poll.
TODAY'S UK PAPERS
> Financial Times
> Other business headlines
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($1 = 0.5998 British Pounds)
(Reporting by Tricia Wright)