(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.
* BP - Oil company BP has signed an agreement to invest $12 billion in Egypt that will produce 3 billion barrels of oil equivalent, a joint statement from the company and the government said on Saturday.
Also, the U.S. government is appealing a federal court ruling that reduced the potential penalty BP Plc must pay for the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill by almost $4 billion.
* ANTOFAGASTA - Copper miner Antofagasta cannot guarantee that its the embattled Los Pelambres mine in Chile will continue to operate, company President Diego Hernandez said in an interview published by local newspaper La Tercera on Sunday.
* ASTRAZENECA - Long-term use of AstraZeneca’s drug Brilinta can cut the risk of death, another heart attack or stroke in patients with a history of past attacks by 16 percent, a keenly awaited clinical trial showed on Saturday.
* BG - British energy company BG will invest $4 billion in Egypt over the next two years, the company’s chief operating officer said on Saturday.
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)