UK Stocks-Factors to watch on Monday March 16
(Adds futures, company news)
LONDON, March 16 (Reuters) - Britain's FTSE 100 index is seen opening up 26 points, or 0.4 percent higher on Monday, according to financial bookmakers, with futures up 0.4 percent at 0724 GMT. For more on the factors affecting European stocks, please click on
* The blue-chip FTSE 100 index closed down 0.3 percent at 6,740.58 points on Friday, extending a pull-back since hitting a record high of 6,974.26 on March 2, hit by a fall in utilities. The index declined 2.5 percent over the course of the week.
* FINANCIALS - British finance minister George Osborne offered a sweetener to pensioners on Sunday, less than two months before a national election, extending reforms announced last year to give pensioners the freedom to cash in their annuities in exchange for lump sums.
* ROYAL DUTCH SHELL - Royal Dutch Shell is pulling back from its shale projects in South Africa due to lower energy prices although it is still seeking an exploration license for the onshore Karoo Basin, its country manager said on Monday.