UK stock market factors to watch on February 9

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Feb 9 (Reuters) – Britain’s FTSE 100 index (.FTSE) is expected to open higher on Wednesday, with futures up 0.69%.

* GSK: GSK (GSK.L) racked up 1.4 billion pounds ($1.9 billion) in COVID-related sales in 2021, largely for the antibody drug sotrovimab, as it beat the quarterly forecast in its first earnings report since rejecting a bid from Unilever for its consumer arm. Read more

* ROYAL LONDON-LV=: Britain’s Royal London said talks about a possible merger with mutual life insurer LV= had ceased without reaching an agreement. Read more

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* JOHN MENZIES: Airport services group John Menzies (MNZS.L) has rejected a proposed takeover of a unit of Kuwait-based supply chain services provider Agility Public Warehousing Co (AGLT.KW), saying that she undervalued British society. Read more

* BARRATT: Homebuilder Barratt Developments (BDEV.L) said it was on track to build 250 more homes than its previous annual forecast, which would also exceed pre-pandemic levels, allaying concerns regarding easing demand in the UK housing market. Read more

* DUNELM: Retailer group Dunelm (DNLM.L) reported record pre-tax profit in the first half of the year, citing strong sales growth and continued outperformance in the homewares and furniture market.

* PZ CUSSONS: Soapmaker PZ Cussons Plc (PZC.L) said its first-half profit fell 8% from a year earlier as demand for its handwash and sanitizers fell by compared to the highs reached at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.

* EMA: The European Union medicines regulator has launched a review to assess whether the Pfizer/BioNTech (PFE.N), (22UAy.DE) COVID-19 vaccine can be used as a third booster in adolescents aged 12 to 15, even after several countries in the region have already launched such a campaign. Read more

* VODAFONE: French telecommunications group Iliad said it had made an offer to Vodafone (VOD.L) to buy 100% of Vodafone Italia, an Iliad spokesman said.

* OIL: Oil prices climbed after two losing sessions as industry data showed an unexpected drop in U.S. crude and fuel inventories, offsetting fears of a possible surge in supplies from Iran. Read more

* London shares closed lower on Tuesday as an early rebound in energy major BP faded as oil prices tumbled, while online supermarket Ocado tumbled on bleak earnings forecasts . Read more

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

TODAY’S UK PAPERS > Financial Times > Other economic titles

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Reporting by Amna Karimi in Bangalore

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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