Dec 27 (Reuters) - Britain’s FTSE 100 futures were up 0.44% on Friday ahead of the cash markets open.
* PHS GROUP: South Africa’s Bidvest said on Tuesday it would acquire British-based hygiene service provider PHS Group for around 9.1 billion rand ($641.16 million) to expand its presence beyond its home market.
* TESCO: Allegations that a Chinese printing firm which supplies British supermarket giant Tesco uses the forced labour of foreign prisoners are “completely fabricated”, Chinese state television on Tuesday cited the factory’s manager as saying.
* GOLD: Gold prices rose slightly to their highest in nearly two months on Friday, heading for their best week in more than four months, as the dollar eased and investors hedged against risks ahead of the year-end.
* OIL: Oil prices rose on Friday, hitting three-month highs after data showed record online spending by U.S. consumers, stoking faith in the world’s no. 1 economy even before the hoped-for end to the trade war between Washington and Beijing.
* The UK blue-chip index closed up 0.1% on Tuesday, boosted by oil major Shell and a 2% rise in domestic bank Lloyds.
* For more on the factors affecting European stocks, please click on:
> Financial Times
> Other business headlines (Reporting by Aniruddha Ghosh in Bengaluru)