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Markets News

UPDATE 1-UK Stocks-Factors to watch on Jan. 24

(Adds company news items and futures)

Jan 24 (Reuters) - Britain’s FTSE 100 index is seen opening 44 points higher at 7,552 on Friday, according to financial bookmakers, with futures up 0.76% ahead of cash markets open.

* VIRGIN MONEY: Virgin Money UK said its chairman Jim Pettigrew is planning to retire by September 2021 when his tenure on the board will reach nine years.

* JUST EAT: Dutch online food ordering service Takeaway.com said 90.2% of Just Eat shareholders have tendered shares to its takeover offer, and that the company will begin a squeeze-out process to acquire the rest.

* PREMIER OIL: Hedge fund Asia Research and Capital Management (ARCM) raised fresh concerns over Premier Oil’s plan to have its creditors vote on the planned acquisition of North Sea assets under a scheme that allows it to delay debt repayments and issue new shares.

* COPPER: London copper edged higher on after the World Health Organization (WHO) said a new coronavirus outbreak in top metals consumer China is not yet a global emergency, but prices were set for their biggest weekly drop in 17 months.

* GOLD: Gold edged lower after the World Health Organisation stopped short of declaring the China virus outbreak a global emergency, though prices were still on track to post a weekly gain.

* OIL: Oil prices were steady, but on track for a fall of up to 5% for the week on growing concern that fuel demand will weaken as the spread of a respiratory virus from China that has killed 25 so far dents travel and darkens the economic outlook.

* UK shares lost roughly 1% on Thursday as worries over the spread of a new flu-like virus from China forced dealers to dump risky assets, while financial stocks tumbled across the board after the European Central Bank kept interest rates at a record low level.

TODAY’S UK PAPERS

> Financial Times

> Other business headlines (Reporting by Shanima A in Bengaluru)

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