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UPDATE 1-UK Stocks-Factors to watch on Jan. 22
Published at 22/01/2021 at 07:48

(Adds futures, news items)

Jan 22 (Reuters) - Britain's FTSE 100 index is seen opening 5 points higher at 6,720 on Friday, according to financial bookmakers, with futures

down 0.26% ahead of cash market open.

* JOHN LEWIS: Britain's John Lewis Partnership lifted its annual profit forecast after better than expected trading during the Christmas period.

* NEXT: Next Plc said on Thursday it had pulled out of the bidding for brands owned by British tycoon Philip Green's Arcadia Group as it was unable to meet the price expectations of the collapsed fashion chain.

* ECONOMY: British retail sales bounced back weakly in Dec as shops in England emerged from November's four-week lockdown to slow the spread of COVID-19, while public borrowing this financial year has hit a fresh record high.

* CONSUMER SENTIMENT: A gauge of confidence among British consumers slipped back in January because of worries about the economy which has been largely locked down again, a survey showed.

* MANUFACTURERS: British manufacturers' concerns about shortages of low-wage workers and supplies have risen the most in almost 50 years, a survey showed on Thursday, as they wrestle with COVID-19 disruptions and new customs rules after leaving the European Union.

* GOLD: Gold inched lower as U.S. Treasury yields ticked up, though bets of a large U.S. stimulus kept the metal on course for its best week in five.

* OIL: Oil prices dropped, retreating further from 11-month highs hit last week, weighed down by worries that new pandemic restrictions in China will curb fuel demand in the world's biggest oil importer.

* The UK blue-chip index closed 0.4% lower on Thursday, weighed down by falls in energy stocks as oil prices slid after a surprise increase in U.S. crude inventories, while IG Group tumbled on plans to buy U.S. trading platform tastytrade for $1 billion.

* For more on the factors affecting European stocks, please click on:

TODAY'S UK PAPERS

> Financial Times

> Other business headlines

(Reporting by Priyanshi Mandhan in Bengaluru)

((Priyanshi.Mandhan@thomsonreuters.com; +91 9650985606;))