* Britain's FTSE 100 index is set to open 29 to 32 points lower, or down around 0.6 percent on Monday, according to financial bookmakers. For more on the factors affecting European stocks, please click on
* London's blue chip index closed up 43.24 points, or 0.7 percent, at 5,871.02 on Friday, rallying after better than expected employment figures in the United States spurred buying of commodity and banking stocks.
* London copper fell more than 1 percent on Monday, giving up last week's gains as worries about the global economy resurfaced, ahead of data from top consumer China later this week for clues on demand.
* Underlining the uncertain outlook, the World Bank cut its growth forecasts for the East Asia and Pacific region on Monday and said there was a risk the slowdown in China could get worse and last longer than expected.
* European diplomats discussing the possibility of a separate budget to improve monetary union in the euro zone are considering a sum of around 20 billion euros ($26 billion), according to the Financial Times Deutschland.
* BAE SYSTEMS - Britain will block the proposed $45 billion merger between EADS and BAE Systems if key "red line" priorities are not met, defence minister Philip Hammond said on Sunday, three days before a deadline for detailing the deal.
* WPP - The advertising firm has snapped up a stake in Germany's k102 agency.
* BRITISH LAND - The real estate investment firm announced a new joint venture for t he M eadowhall s hopping centre w ith Norges Bank Investment Management, the investment manager for the government pension fund of Norway.
* LONDON & STAMFORD - The real estate firm which has sold its 50 percent stake in interest in t he Me adowhall shopping centre to Norges Bank In v estment, said it now has firepower of up to 1 billion pounds as th e firm pos itions itself to take advantage of expected investment opportunities.
* PERSIMMON - The developer bought Hillreed Homes, a regional housebuilder operating in the south east of England for 35.7 million pounds.
* COOKSON - The company, which receives about half of its revenue from supplying ceramic products to the steel and foundry casting markets, said year performance for group is now expected to be materially below the board's previous expectations.
* MICHAEL PAGE - The recruiter said it expects full year operating profit to be slightly below current analyst expectations.
* CRANSWICK - The UK food producer said first half performance has been in line with management's expectations, with underlying turnover in the six months to September 30 up 5 percent, a nd it remains confident in the continued long term development of the business.
* INTERBULK - The logistics firm warns on profit.
* DAISY GROUP - The British telecoms company said it sees revenues above last year.
* SOLO OIL : The oil explorer and Aminex are seeking a partner for their Tanzania licence. The companies have engaged firstenergy capital to manage the farm-out of up to 50 percent in the Ruvuma psa.
* There is no major economic data out in the UK and the U.S. on Monday.
TODAY'S UK PAPERS
> Financial Times
> Other business headlines Multimedia versions of Reuters Top News are now available for: * 3000 Xtra : visit* BridgeStation: view story .134(Editing by John Stonestreet)
Kraft withdraws offer to merge with Unilever
UPDATE 1-Schaeuble denies 'Grexit' threat, says Greece on right path
BERLIN, Feb 19 German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble denied on Sunday that he had said Greece would have to leave the euro zone if it failed to implement economic reforms.