Dec 18 - Britain's FTSE 100 .FTSE index is seen opening 19 points lower at 6,532 on Friday, according to financial bookmakers.
* CENTRICA: Members of the Britain's GMB union have voted for industrial action in January against Centrica Plc's CNA.L British Gas after the utility refused to remove "fire and rehire" threats to its workforce, the union said on Thursday. SOLGOLD: Gold and copper miner Solgold Plc 's SOLG.L chief executive Nick Mather was handed a strong rebuke on Thursday, with nearly half of votes cast against his reappointment to the miner's board at its annual shareholder meeting. CONSUMER SENTIMENT: A gauge of confidence among British consumers jumped by the most in eight years in December, boosted by the launch of the country's coronavirus vaccine programme, a survey showed. GOLD: Gold prices retreated as the dollar rebounded, after growing U.S. stimulus hopes drove a three-day rally in bullion, putting the metal on course for a third consecutive weekly gain. OIL: Oil prices eased but stayed within touching distance of nine-month highs hit in the previous session as soaring COVID-19 cases weigh on fuel demand and U.S. lawmakers battle over a $900 billion economic stimulus package. The UK blue-chip index .FTSE gave up early gains to dip 0.3%, weighed down by losses in consumer staples. The domestically focussed FTSE 250 .FTMC gained 1% with investors believing the UK and European Union would bridge the gaps to a post-Brexit trade deal, while advertising firm WPP (LON: WPP ) jumped after an upbeat sales forecast. For more on the factors affecting European stocks, please click on: LIVE/
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