UK Stocks-Factors to watch on Dec. 23



Dec 23 (Reuters) - Britain's FTSE 100 .FTSE index is seen opening 7 points higher on Thursday, according to financial bookmakers.

* BALFOUR BEATTY: The U.S. Justice Department said it resolved probes into Balfour Beatty Communities, one of the U.S. military's largest private landlords, after it pleaded guilty on Wednesday to one count of major fraud and agreed to pay over $65 million in fines and restitution.

* CAR PLANTS: British car manufacturers had their slowest November in 37 years as the sector struggled to cope with the impact of the pandemic on global supply chains, industry data showed.

* UK BUSINESS: British businesses have reported their weakest growth since the country was under lockdown earlier this year and they expect a further slowdown in early 2022, the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) said.

* GOLD: Gold prices held steady in holiday-thinned trade, as a weaker dollar offset renewed risk appetite fuelled by an encouraging Omicron study and increased optimism around the global economic outlook.

* METAL: Copper edged higher, underpinned by a weak U.S. dollar, easing concerns about the Omicron coronavirus variant and upbeat U.S. economic data.

* OIL: Oil prices rose for a third straight day, underpinned by a weaker dollar on optimism about global growth, even as governments from Australia to Europe step up curbs to slow the spread of the Omicron coronavirus variant.

* UK's FTSE 100 ended higher on Wednesday as gains in industrial and financial stocks helped counter concerns over the impact of the Omicron coronavirus variant on economic recovery and weaker-than-expected quarterly growth data.

* For more on the factors affecting European stocks, please click on:

TODAY'S UK PAPERS

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(Reporting By Amna Karimi in Bengaluru)

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