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

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UPDATE 1-UK Stocks-Factors to watch on Jan 24
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Jan 24 (Reuters) - Britain's FTSE 100 .FTSE index is seen opening 9 points lower at 7,722.5 on Wednesday, according to financial bookmakers, with futures FFIc1 down 0.15 percent ahead of the cash market open.

* PREMIER OIL: Premier Oil PMO.L said on Wednesday its first export cargo of oil from its flagship Catcher field was lifted on Tuesday and sold at a premium to globally traded Brent crude LCoc1.

CREST NICHOLSON: British housebuilder Crest Nicholson CRST.L said on Wednesday it appointed Patrick Bergin as chief executive and that its full-year pretax profit rose 6 percent. WH SMITH: WH Smith Plc SMWH.L , a seller of books, newspaper and stationery, reported that sales during the 20 weeks to Jan. 20 were flat compared with a year earlier as gains from its travel shops were offset by a cooling high street business.

PURPLEBRICKS: Online estate agent Purplebricks Group Plc PURP.L said it planned to launch in New York in the second quarter of 2018, expanding further in the U.S. market, having built a leading position in a fragmented industry at home.

JD WETHERSPOON: British pubs group JD Wetherspoon JDW.L reported strong comparable sales in the Christmas period and said year-to-date underlying pretax profit was slightly ahead of its expectations.

COUNTRYWIDE: Countrywide CWD.L , Britain's biggest lettings and estate agency firm, said Chief Executive Officer Alison Platt had stepped down, a week after the company warned on full-year group income after a disappointing fourth quarter.

TESCO: Tesco Plc TSCO.L has poached Ulster Bank Chief Executive Gerry Mallon to run the financial services arm of Britain's biggest retailer, Sky News reported on Tuesday.

RIO TINTO: The top U.S. securities regulator on Tuesday rejected arguments by Rio Tinto Plc RIO.L RIO.AX and two former top executives that its civil lawsuit claiming they concealed the plunging value of coal assets owned by the big Anglo-Australian mining company should be dismissed.

RBS: Britain's Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc RBS.L will leave its current London headquarters by the end of 2019 in a cost-cutting move, it said on Tuesday.

BARCLAYS TRADER BAN: The Federal Reserve announced Tuesday it had rejected a motion to void a $1.2 million fine and industry ban on a former Barclays Plc BARC.L trader.

PETROPAVLOVSK: Kazakh businessman Kenges Rakishev, who owns just over a fifth of Russian miner Petropavlovsk POG.L , said the company should sell its 31.1 percent stake in Hong Kong-listed iron ore company IRC 1029.HK to focus exclusively on gold.

BOEING/ROLLS-ROYCE: Boeing (NYSE: BA ) Co BA.N has still to complete flight tests on the newly certified 787-10 Dreamliner with General Electric (NYSE: GE ) Co GE.N engines, but has finished tests with Rolls-Royce Holdings PLC RR.L engines, a Boeing executive said on Tuesday.

BRITAIN MOTOR INSURANCE: The average premium paid for motor insurance in Britain jumped 9 percent in 2017 to the highest level since 2012, the Association of British Insurers (ABI) said on Wednesday.

OIL: Brent crude oil futures LCOc1 were at $69.83 a barrel at 0517 GMT, down 13 cents from their last close, weighed down by data that showed an increase in U.S. crude oil and gasoline inventories. The UK blue chip index closed 0.21 percent higher on Tuesday with gains in airline easyJet (LON: EZJ ) following a trading update drove Britain's top share index higher, while Sky was in focus after the competition watchdog suggested ways that could make a Fox takeover acceptable.

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