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

Fri Jan 24, 2014 2:29am EST

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LONDON Jan 24 (Reuters) - Britain's FTSE 100 index is set to start slightly higher on Friday, with futures rising 0.1 percent ahead of the cash market open.

* The FTSE 100 fell 53.05 points, or 0.8 percent, at 6,773.28 points on Thursday, suffering its biggest one-day fall this year after disappointing U.S. economic data and weak updates from Easyjet and Pearson.

* The Bank of England will take a broader approach to gauging when the British economy is strong enough to cope with higher borrowing costs, its governor said on Thursday, a day after the BoE's existing guidance plan was rendered virtually obsolete.

* ROYAL MAIL GROUP - Royal Mail, sold off last October in Britain's biggest privatisation in decades, said underlying sales for the nine months to Dec. 29 rose 2 percent, helped by strong parcel demand over Christmas despite a decline in letters, in trading that was in line with the delivery firm's expectations.

* BP - Countries across the world have been quietly signing deals in recent months to import natural gas from the United States as companies like BP find multiple buyers willing to take tranches of supply, revealing a growing appetite for the fuel overseas as domestic output soars.

* WEIR - Engineer Weir announces $98 million contract for provision of maintenance services in Iraq for LUKOIL for two years.

* CAPITA - Regulators could make the outsourcing firm pay more than 100 million pounds ($166.31 million) to investors in a fund it operated that collapsed, the Daily Mail reported.

* SPORTS DIRECT, DEBENHAMS - The chief executive of Debenhams has met with his counterpart at the sports retailer for the first time since Sports Direct took out a complex bet on the department store, the Times reported.

* MINERS - South Africa's main platinum union started government-brokered talks with the world's top three platinum companies on Friday after as many as 100,000 members of the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU) walked out at Anglo American Platinum, Impala Platinum and Lonmin on Thursday, hitting more than half of world platinum production.

TODAY'S UK PAPERS

> Financial Times

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