LONDON, March 14 (Reuters) - * Britain's FTSE 100 index is seen opening up 23-26 points, or 0.4 percent higher on Wednesday, according to financial bookmakers. For more on the factors affecting European stocks, please click on
* Japan's Nikkei average climbed 1.5 percent to close above 10,000 for the first time in seven months overnight, while the U.S. stock market posted its best day this year.
* London's blue chip index closed up 63.16 points, or 1.1 percent at 5,955.91 on Tuesday, but volumes were thin with the FTSE 100 trading 83 percent of a subdued 90-day average.
* Brent crude steadied above $126, in sight of 11-month highs, as expectations for a build in U.S. crude inventories offset improving economic sentiment in the world's top oil consumer. Copper prices also steadied.
* Companies going ex-dividend are expected to take around 6.86 points off the FTSE 100 on Wednesday, with the most impact coming from HSBC.
* XSTRATA has sold a stake in its burgeoning Canadian coking coal operations to JX Nippon, forming a joint venture with the Japanese oil refiner to build the business and market the coal in Japan.
* SCHRODERS is in talks to acquire an almost 30 percent stake in India's Axis Asset Management in a deal worth around 1.3 billion rupees ($26 million), two Indian newspapers reported citing unnamed sources.
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