UK Stocks-Factors to watch on Wednesday March 18
LONDON, March 18 (Reuters) - Britain's FTSE 100 index is seen opening up 7 points, or 0.1 percent higher/ on Wednesday, according to financial bookmakers. For more on the factors affecting European stocks, please click on * The blue-chip FTSE 100 index, which had its worst weekly loss in 2015 last week, rose 0.5 percent on Tuesday, up 33.53 points at 6,837.61 points by the close. It was 2 percent below a record high of 6,974.26 points reached on March 2. * British finance minister George Osborne will try to make voters feel that the economy's recovery is finally working for them when he delivers an annual budget on Wednesday, seven weeks before a national election that remains too close to call. * BANKS - The British units of foreign banks could be required by UK regulators to submit to annual health exams for the first time, banking and industry sources said, potentially bringing Britain's policies into line with those of the U.S. Federal Reserve. * BARCLAYS - Citigroup Inc and Barclays are close to settling as early as this week a lawsuit with private investors who say the banks manipulated foreign-exchange rates, the Wall Street Journal said. * ROYAL DUTCH SHELL - Indonesia's state-owned Pertamina, Royal Dutch Shell, and Malaysia's Petronas were among the companies awarded Indonesian oil and gas blocks in its latest offering of exploration concessions, government officials said on Wednesday. * UK CORPORATE DIARY: Smiths Group PLC Half Year 2014/15 Smiths Group PLC Earnings Release Imagination Imagination Technologies Group PLC Trading Technologies Group PLC Statement Release UTV Media PLC Full Year 2014 UTV Media PLC Earnings Release Hochschild Mining PLC Full Year 2014 Hochschild Mining PLC Earnings Release 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 Alistair Smout)
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