UPDATE 1-UK Stocks-Factors to watch on Jan 17

(Adds futures, news items)

Jan 17 (Reuters) - Britain’s FTSE 100 index is seen opening 13 points higher at 7,623 on Friday, according to financial bookmakers, with futures up 0.3% ahead of the cash market open.

* FLYBE: Struggling British regional airline Flybe is in talks with the government about a loan on commercial terms which would not represent a bailout, the BBC reported.

* GVC: Ladbrokes-owner GVC said annual core earnings would be at the top end of its guidance, driven by stronger demand for online gambling.

* HASTINGS: Motor insurer Hastings said it expects a steep drop in annual earnings because of high claims costs in the final quarter and plans to lower its 2019 dividend, citing a challenging market environment.

* NMC: NMC Health Plc said an independent review committee had appointed former Federal Bureau of Investigation director Louis Freeh to compile a report on allegations by U.S. firm Muddy Waters and third parties.

* PREMIER FOOD: Bisto gravy and OXO cube maker Premier Foods said sales during the Christmas period rose 2.6% on robust demand for its mini Mr. Kipling mince pies.

* VODAFONE: Shares of Vodafone Idea, a joint venture between Britain’s Vodafone Group and India’s Idea Cellular, fell as much as 40% after India’s top court rejected mobile carriers’ petitions for a review of its order to pay billions of dollars in levies to the government.

* EXPERIAN: Experian Plc, the world’s largest credit data company, posted a 7% rise in third-quarter organic revenue, driven by continued strength in its key North American market.

* RIO: Rio Tinto posted a 3% drop in iron ore shipments in 2019 as the Anglo-Australian miner’s operations faced disruptions due to cyclone and a fire at a port facility.

* IAG: IAG’s British Airways flights can pump out more carbon emissions per passenger than rival airlines on certain routes, according to the consumer group “Which?”

* GOLD: Gold edged lower, on track to post its worst week in two months, as positive U.S. economic data and optimism over an interim U.S.-China trade deal boosted appetite for riskier assets and dented some of bullion’s allure.

* OIL: Oil prices were steady as reports of sluggish economic growth in China, the world’s biggest crude importer, raised concerns about fuel demand and countered optimism from the signing of the Sino-U.S. trade deal earlier in the week.

* METAL: London copper prices edged up after two sessions of losses, lifted by better-than-expected data from China - the world’s biggest consumer of the malleable metal.

* Underwhelming trading updates from Pearson Plc and Whitbread Plc broke a three-day winning run for London’s main index on Thursday, while investors exercised caution amid a lack of clarity on some elements of the U.S.-China trade deal.


> Financial Times

> Other business headlines (Reporting by Rishika Chatterjee and Shanima A in Bengaluru)