(Adds futures, detail, company news)
LONDON, April 1 (Reuters) - Britain’s FTSE 100 index is seen opening up higher on Tuesday, with June futures for the index up 0.4 percent by 0639 GMT. For more on the factors affecting European stocks, please click on
* The UK blue chip index closed down 17.21 points, or 0.3 percent, at 6,598.37 points on Monday, after a see-saw session which saw it trade between 6,583-6,658, leaving it down 2.2 percent for the year on the last day of the first quarter.
* Persistent weakness in China’s manufacturing sector was seen lifting the chances of increased government spending to spur growth. Investors were also reassured by dovish comments by U.S. Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen, who suggested that the central bank’s stimulus measures would be required for some time yet.
* WEIR GROUP : The engineer is said to be in talks to takeover its Finnish rival Metso Oyj in an 8.5 billion pounds ($14.17 billion) deal to expand its industrial pumps and valves market, the Times reported.
* BANKS: Hong Kong’s de facto central bank said it is investigating a number of banks as part of the global probe into alleged manipulation of foreign exchange markets, as investigations into the $5.3 trillion-a-day-market escalate.
* ROYAL MAIL : Britain’s public spending watchdog said the government’s cautious approach to last year’s sell-off of state postal group Royal Mail had led to a sale price that had short-changed the taxpayer.
* BT : A report by Public Accounts Committee has accused BT of exploiting its monopoly position and criticised the Government for failing to deliver “meaningful competition”, the Times reported.
* BABCOCK : The London Fire Brigade has named engineering contractor Babcock International as the preferred bidder on a 21-year contract to manage its vehicle fleet.
* ICAP : The broker said activity in its global broking division dropped in February and March on account of lower trading volumes on global markets.
* UK March Markit/CIPS manufacturing PMI data, set for release at 0830 GMT, is set to show a small drop to 56.7 from 56.9, according to a Reuters poll.
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 ($1 = 0.5998 British Pounds) (Reporting by Tricia Wright)