UK Stocks-Factors to watch on March 2
LONDON, March 2 (Reuters) - Britain's FTSE 100 index is seen opening down by 7 to 13 points, or 0.2 percent lower on Monday, according to financial bookmakers. For more on the factors affecting European stocks, please click on
* The UK blue chip index closed flat at 6,946.66 points on Friday, settling back after having touched a record intraday high of 6,967.24 points.
* CHINA RATE CUT: Weakness in China's vast manufacturing sector, aggravated by high real borrowing costs and weak demand, appears to have driven the central bank to accelerate the pace of monetary easing to ward off deflation in the world's second-largest economy. Cuts to benchmark lending and deposit rates, announced by the People's Bank of China (PBOC) on Saturday evening, pre-empted official data released on Sunday that showed a second consecutive month of shrinking manufacturing activity for February.
* OIL PRICE: Oil stayed in the red on Monday on supply concerns despite partly recovering from earlier losses after a private business survey showed an improvement in China's manufacturing sector in February.
* IAG /AER LINGUS : International Consolidated Airlines Group (IAG) is to make "concrete proposals" to the Irish government next week to try and convince it to sell its 25 percent stake in Aer Lingus, the Sunday Business Post reported.
* UK BANKS: The Liberal Democrats have called upon Chancellor George Osborn to increase U.K. banks' tax bill by 1 billion pounds a year to help eliminate Britain's 30 billion pound structural deficit, the Financial Times reported.
* BHP BILLITON : Australian nickel explorer Sirius Resources SIR.AX will supply BHP Billiton's Nickel West division in Australia with much-needed nickel-in-concentrate under a three-year supply agreement, Sirius said on Monday.
* UK DIESEL TAX: The British government rejected calls on Sunday to raise taxes on diesel vehicles to reduce air pollution but said it will consider a national network of low-emission zones. Continuación...