Jan 16 (Reuters) - Britain's FTSE 100 index is seen opening down 12 points at 7,631 on Thursday, according to financial bookmakers. * LEKOIL: A consultancy firm that allegedly arranged a fraudulent $184 million loan announced by Nigerian oil company Lekoil Ltd said on Wednesday that it welcomed an investigation into the matter. * GOLD: Gold prices held steady after the United States and China signed a preliminary trade deal, as investors worried that a number of sore issues remained unresolved between the world's two top economies. * OIL: Oil prices rose after the signing of the trade deal that sets the stage for a surge in Chinese purchases of American energy products, while U.S. crude inventories fell more than expected. * METAL: Copper prices fell on investor doubts that the U.S.-China deal would improve metals demand. * EX-DIVS: Ashtead Group, Compass Group and SSE Plc will trade without entitlement to their latest dividend pay-out on Thursday, trimming 2.8 points off the FTSE 100 according to Reuters calculations [ID: nL8N29I1MR] * London's main share index rose slightly on Wednesday, hours before the sealing of the U.S.-China trade deal, though sentiment was tempered when Washington said tariffs on Chinese goods would not be rolled back immediately. * UK CORPORATE DIARY: Whitbread WTB.L Trading Update Hays HAYS.L Q2 Trading Update Genel Energy GENL.L Trading & Operations Update Wood Group WG.L Trading Update N Brown BWNG.L Q3 Trading Update Dechra Pharmaceuticals DPH.L Trading Update Associated British Foods ABF.L Q1 Trading Update Halfords HFD.L Q3 Trading Update Rio Tinto RIO.L Q4 Operations Review Workspace Group WKP.L Q3 Statement Pearson Plc PSON.L Q4 Trading Statement TODAY'S UK PAPERS > Financial Times > Other business headlines (Reporting by Rishika Chatterjee in Bengaluru; Editing by Shailesh Kuber)
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