LONDON, July 17 (Reuters) - Britain's FTSE 100 index is seen opening 2 to 4 points higher, or as much as 0.1 percent, on Wednesday, according to financial bookmakers. For more on the factors affecting European stocks, please click on
* The UK's blue-chip share index traded higher for much of the day on Tuesday but closed down 29.7 points, or 0.5 percent, at 6,556.35 points.
* BHP Billiton : The miner said expansion of its iron ore operations in Australia was running ahead of schedule, as the company posted a robust 9 percent rise in ore output to a record annual 187 million tonnes.
* Brent futures slipped below $108 a barrel on Wednesday as investors were reluctant to lock in fresh positions, awaiting more clarity from Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke on the U.S. central bank's plan to roll back its monetary stimulus.
* Bernanke is set to testify to Congress on Wednesday and Thursday, and may clarify on when the central bank will roll back its $85 billion a month bond-buying programme.
* London copper edged towards a one-month high.
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