LONDON, July 24 (Reuters) - * Britain's FTSE 100 index is seen opening around 18 points higher, or up 0.3 percent on Tuesday, according to financial bookmakers. For more on the factors affecting European stocks, please click on
* The UK blue chip index closed down 117.90 points, or 2.1 percent lower, on Monday at 5,533.87 points. The FTSE 100 plunged on Monday to its lowest level in three weeks and fell back into the red for the year as fresh euro zone worries hit banks across the continent, while technical charts pointed to further weakness over the summer.
* Data showed China's flash factory purchasing managers index rose in July to its highest level since February, lifted by a pick up in output and signs of improvement in new export orders, sparking a rally in oil and metal prices.
* Late on Monday, Moody's changed its outlook for Germany, the Netherlands and Luxembourg to 'negative' from 'stable", citing an increased chance that Greece could leave the euro zone, which "would set off a chain of financial sector shocks.
* Asian shares inched higher on Tuesday, helped by improving Chinese manufacturing data, but the euro remained under pressure as surging Spanish borrowing costs stoked fears that the euro zone's fourth-largest economy will be forced to seek a bailout.
* In the United States, monthly home price data is due to be released.
* UK COMPANY NEWS:
IMPERIAL TOBACCO : The company said its trading performance had
been in line with its expectations, with nine month tobacco net revenues
rising 3 percent.
MAN GROUP : The hedge fund group unveiled another round of
cost cuts aimed at propping up its weakened revenues on Tuesday, as its
fight to staunch rising client outflows and falling assets continued.
CARPETRIGHT : The retailer reported a 1.7 percent rise in Q1
UK like-for-like sales, and kept its full year targets unchanged.
APR ENERGY : Reported higher revenues.
CRODA INTL : Reported higher profits and dividend.
CSR : Expected full year revenues to be broadly in
line with the market consensus.
INTL PERSONAL FINANCE : Reported growth in customer numbers and said
it was on track to perform well for the financial year.
GT PORTLAND ESTATES : Reported a rise in its net asset value and
announced the signing of 15 new leases.
GLOBO : Announced higher revenues.
DRAGON OIL : Expected a full-year production growth rate
of 10-15 percent.
HELICAL BAR : Announced deal to develop the Glasgow
headquarters of Scottish Power.
HALMA : Reported higher sales.
INTL FERRO METALS : Reported lower production figures.
MORGAN CRUCIBLE CO : Posted lower profits.
PROVIDENT FINANCIAL : Posted higher H1 profit.
PACE : Reported lower H1 profit.
PZ CUSSONS : Reported lower profits.
SCAPA GROUP : Holds AGM
VODAFONE GROUP : Holds AGM
WPP : Struck deal to buy Germany's KKLD
TODAY'S UK PAPERS
> Financial Times
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