LONDON (ShareCast) – – FTSE to regain around 60 points early on
– Yanukovych requested Russia military presence
– UK data to be light

UK stocks are this morning expected to claw back some of Monday’s heavy losses, which saw the FTSE lose more than a hundred points on the back of fears of a war between Russia and Ukraine.

City sources predict the FTSE 100 will open 60 points higher than yesterday’s close of 6,708.35, after it was revealed Viktor Yanukovych, Ukraine’s ousted President, requested military assistance from Russia for the protection of its civilians.

Samuel Fox of Spreadex, noted that: “We have quite a thin economic calendar today with the only notable piece of data released being UK construction PMI.”

He explained that, “with the lack of data driving markets in any significant direction, investors will be closely watching for any clarity on the Ukraine situation which should slowly come to light throughout the day.”

The figure for UK construction PMI, due out at 09:30, is expected to come in at 63.6.

In lighter news, Bill Gates has once again been named as the world’s richest man by Forbes magazine. The annual list also revealed a record number of female billionaires.

In this morning’s company announcements, mining giant Fresnillo (Other OTC: FNLPF – news) reported a drop in 2013 profits and revenues, reflecting a decline in gold production and fall in precious metal prices. The company’s pre-tax profit tumbled 64.4% to $ 418.7m in the year through December. Revenue was down 25.1% to $ 1.61bn.

Randgold Resources (Dusseldorf: RGR1.DU – news) Chief Executive Mark Bristow has said that the opportunities for gold mining in Africa more than outweigh the challenges currently facing the industry. Speaking at the Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada (PDAC) convention in Toronto, Bristow said the depletion of traditional gold mining regions forced miners to turn to highly prospective emerging countries previously regarded as too risky.

Equipment rental business Ashtead reported a bumper set of third quarter earnings, driven by a strong performance from its two main divisions, and now expects full-year results to come in ahead of previous expectations. Pre-tax profit surged 54% to £80.4m for the third quarter ended January 31st 2014 from £53.5m a year earlier. Revenue for the quarter jumped 22% to £400.1m.

Hansteen Holdings (LSE: HSTN.L – news) , the FTSE 250-listed UK and Continental European property investment company, has refinanced two loans secured against its German portfolio with two new loans totalling 343m euro. The group said it was “testament to the strength of our business model” that it was able to raise two substantial new loans on multi-let industrial property in Germany.