The FTSE 100 <.FTSE> index is seen opening higher by 27-30 points, or up to 0.5 percent, on Thursday, according to financial bookmakers, with equities' appeal boosted by the U.S. Federal Reserve's promise to keep interest rates -- and thus bond yields -- ultra-low for the next couple of years.

Miners will be in focus, with trading updates due from Anglo American and Petropavlovsk
and output figures from Kazakhmys .

The FTSE 100 closed down 28.90 points, or 0.5 percent on Wednesday at 5,723.00, retreating further from six-month highs hit on Monday.

From a technical point of view, Thursday's trading could be key for the UK benchmark, which has closed down on the previous two days after a strong start this year.

The FTSE is currently at a critical point on the chart, James Hyerczyk, Analyst at Autochartist, said.

A failed retracement to the upside will mean that fresh shorting is taking place while a trade through 5,686.45 could be a sign that the next move down will be more dramatic with 5,559.30 the next potential downside target.

The U.S. Federal Reserve said late on Wednesday that it may consider further monetary easing and would keep rates near zero until late 2014. Lower interest rates boost the appeal of equities compared to bonds and cut funding costs for companies.

However the Fed's announcement also signals that it remains concerned about the health of the world's biggest economy -- a key market for many companies.

No major data is due in the UK on Thursday, while the U.S. calendar includes weekly jobless figures, as well as durable goods orders and new home sales for December.

(Reporting by Toni Vorobyova)