LONDON, March 5 (Reuters) - Britain’s FTSE 100 index is seen opening fractionally lower on Wednesday, with March futures on the index down 0.1 percent ahead of the cash market open.
* The UK blue chip index closed 1.7 percent higher at 6,823.77 points on Tuesday, boosted by the perception that tensions between Russia and Ukraine were easing and robust earnings.
* London copper hovered near one-week highs and Brent crude held steady above $109 a barrel after China’s leaders reaffirmed a solid growth target for the year ahead and as tensions in Ukraine appeared to ease.
* ADMIRAL GROUP - The motor insurer posted higher-than-expected pre-tax earnings growth of 7 percent for 2013, boosted by international expansion and an increase in its number of insured vehicles.
* LEGAL & GENERAL - The life and pensions group has unveiled a better than expected 16 percent increase in net cash generation as its new business strain improved.
* STANDARD CHARTERED - Set to release final results at 0805 GMT. It is expected to update on its strategy, including potentially selling several small businesses to revive its fortunes in the face of slower growth and its first fall in profits in a decade.
* RSA - The Daily Mail newspaper cites talk the veteran U.S. investor Warren Buffett has acquired a strategic stake in the British insurer. Brokers indicate the stock to open up between 2 and 3 percent.
* BARCLAYS - The bank’s chief executive, Antony Jenkins, says lower pay would have meant clients and employees would have been less likely to use Barclays, The Telegraph wrote on Wednesday.
* CARILLION - The support services and construction firm posted a 13 percent fall in full-year adjusted pretax profit, broadly as expected by the market, after it scaled back its energy services and British construction businesses.
* MELROSE INDUSTRIES - Engineering turnaround specialist said its full-year headline pretax profit almost doubled, boosted by the acquisition of Elster, which makes meters for measuring gas, water and electricity consumption.
* Britain’s Markit/CIPS Services PMI survey for February, due to be published at 0928 GMT, is expected to come in at 58, compared to 58.3 in the previous month.
* Five UK blue-chip stocks, including miners BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto, are due to go ex-dividend on Wednesday, taking between 7.71 points and 8.46 points off the FTSE 100 according to Reuters calculations.
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