LONDON, March 19 (Reuters) - Britain’s FTSE 100 index is seen opening little changed on Wednesday, or between 8 points lower and 2 points higher, according to financial bookmakers. For more on the factors affecting European stocks, please click on
* Investors were unlikely to place large bets ahead of a policy update from the U.S. Federal Reserve.
The Fed is set to further trim its bond-buying stimulus and could rewrite its guidance on when it might eventually raise interest rates, with some expecting chairman Janet Yellen to scrap a numerical target on unemployment and adopt a more flexible stance.
* The UK blue chip index closed up 36.93 points, or 0.6 percent, at 6,605.28 points - marking only the second time in the last eight sessions that it has ended in positive territory - after a speech by Russian President Vladimir Putin on Ukraine, which some traders interpreted as being conciliatory in tone.
* British finance minister George Osborne will announce a pre-election budget on Wednesday that is likely to offer some tax relief to voters but will stick closely to his tough decade-long plan to fix the public finances.
* Stocks trading without the attraction of their latest dividend, namely Anglo American, British Land and InterContinental Hotels, will knock up to 2.44 points off the FTSE 100 index on Wednesday.
SMITHS GROUP reports first-half results
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 Francesco Canepa)