UPDATE 1-UK Stocks-Factors to watch on Feb 18
LONDON Feb 18 (Reuters) - Britain's FTSE 100 futures contract rose 0.3 percent on Tuesday, with forecast-beating results from miner BHP Billiton expected to buoy the overall market.
* The UK blue chip index closed up by 72.38 points, or 1.1 percent, at 6,736.00 on Monday.
* BHP BILLITON : Global miner BHP Billiton topped market forecasts with a 31 percent rise in first-half profit on Tuesday and hinted it may launch a share buyback in August, despite a cautious outlook on Chinese growth.
* ESSAR ENERGY : The energy group said gross refining margins at Vadinar and Stanlow had fallen.