December 20, 2019 / 7:52 AM / 4 months ago

UPDATE 1-UK Stocks-Factors to watch on Dec. 20

(Adds company news items and futures)

Dec 20 (Reuters) - Britain's FTSE 100 index is seen opening flat at 7,574 on Friday, according to financial bookmakers, with futures down 0.21% ahead of the cash market open.

* ROYAL DUTCH SHELL: Royal Dutch Shell said on Friday it expects impairment charges of up to $2.3 billion in the fourth quarter and trimmed its forecast for quarterly oil production sales.

* OIL: Oil prices held steady near three-month highs, heading for a third consecutive weekly rise, on the back of easing Sino-U.S. trade tensions that have weighed on demand as well as the global economic growth outlook.

* GOLD: Gold prices inched lower in range-bound trade, pressured by increased risk appetite on hopes of an interim Sino-U.S. deal being signed soon, while investors awaited U.S. GDP data release for fresh cues.

* The UK blue-chip index closed up 0.4% on Thursday, partly in response to a weaker pound, which came under pressure from fears Britain may leave the European Union without a trade deal at the end of 2020.

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

TODAY'S UK PAPERS

> Financial Times

> Other business headlines (Reporting by Samantha Machado in Bengaluru)

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