(Adds FTSE open, company news items)
* ADMIRAL: British insurer Admiral ADML.L said on Tuesday the price comparison arm of Zoopla Property Group will buy its Penguin Portals and Preminen businesses that include online portal Confused.com in a deal valued at 508 million pounds ($685.50 million). THE HUT GROUP: E-commerce company Hut Group THG.L said on Tuesday it would buy Dermstore, an online retailer owned by Target Corp (NYSE: TGT ) TGT.N , for $350 million in cash as it looks to bolster the presence of its beauty brands in the U.S. market. BP: BP Plc BP.L said on Tuesday it has found no oil or gas at its Ironbark-1 exploration well off Western Australia, in what had been seen as a multi-trillion cubic feet gas prospect. FINABLR: Finablr Plc FINF.L said on Tuesday its Chief Executive Officer Bhairav Trivedi would step down from his role and be replaced by Robert Miller, just weeks after the payments firm agreed to be bought by an Israeli-United Arab Emirates consortium. RYANAIR: Ryanair RYA.I on Tuesday confirmed it would restrict the voting rights of British shareholders from Jan. 1 in a bid to ensure it remains majority EU-owned and retain full licensing and flight rights in the bloc. PETROPAVLOVSK: Pavel Maslovskiy, the co-founder and former chief executive at London-listed Russian gold miner Petropavlovsk POG.L , has been charged with alleged embezzlement and detained pending trial, Interfax news agency quoted a Moscow court as saying. BREXIT: Prime Minister Boris Johnson welcomed Britain's trade deal with the European Union as a new starting point for relations with the bloc in a call with the President of the European Council Charles Michel on Monday. OIL: Oil rose on Tuesday, for the third time in four sessions, on expectations for rising fuel demand as the United States may expand pandemic aid payments and a final Brexit deal is set to stabilize trade between Europe and the UK. GOLD: Gold inched higher on Tuesday as a softer dollar underpinned the metal, with market participants looking forward to a U.S. Senate vote on increased pandemic aid. The UK blue-chip index .FTSE gave back most of its gains to end marginally higher as the pound's rise weighed on dollar-earners' shares on Thursday. Domestically focused UK shares jumped about 1% in Thursday's shortened trading session in anticipation that Britain and the European Union would announce a trade pact to avoid a chaotic separation at the end of the year. For more on the factors affecting European stocks, please click on: LIVE/
TODAY'S UK PAPERS
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