(Adds futures, news items)
* LIBERTY GLOBAL-TELEFONICA: Britain said it had referred the merger between broadband company Virgin Media and Telefonica 's TEF.MC UK mobile network O2 to an in-depth competition investigation. ROLLS-ROYCE: Rolls-Royce RR.L stuck to its guidance to turn cash flow positive during the second-half of next year, despite warning that the outlook remains challenging and the pace of the recovery is uncertain. IHG: Intercontinental Hotels Group IHG.L has struck a deal with its creditors to extend waivers of its debt covenants through the end of 2022, the company said in a statement. BELLWAY: Bellway Housebuilder Bellway BWY.L forecast a 25% rise in annual volumes, saying home orders rose in the first few months of its fiscal year. BREXIT: British Prime Minister Boris Johnson wants to get a Brexit trade deal and there is a still a chance of getting one but he will not back down on the two main outstanding issues, Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden said. SANOFI/GSK: An experimental COVID-19 vaccine of Sanofi SASY.PA and Britain's GlaxoSmithKline GSK.L showed an insufficient immune response in clinical trial results, the French drugmaker said. BANKS: British banks can resume paying some dividends and bonuses after the Bank of England said they appeared well capitalised and resilient to any further coronavirus crisis fall-out. GOLD: Gold edged up as the dollar held near a two-and-a-half-year low, offsetting concerns over delays in a U.S. coronavirus package. The UK blue-chip index .FTSE closed 0.5% higher on Thursday as oil prices jumped to $50 per barrel for the first time since March on vaccine optimism and as a weaker British pound supported the export-heavy index GBP/ . For more on the factors affecting European stocks, please click on: LIVE/
TODAY'S UK PAPERS
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