LONDON, Jan 6 (Reuters) - Britain’s FTSE 100 is set
* Earlier, financial bookmakers had forecast a flat to slightly lower open for the blue-chip index.
* Asian shares fell to a three-week low on Monday after growth in China’s services sector slowed sharply last month, raising concerns about the pace of recovery in the world’s second-largest economy.
* China’s HSBC/Markit Economics services Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) dropped to 50.9 in December, its lowest since August 2011, from 52.5 in November.
* British finance minister George Osborne will on Monday reinforce his plans for lower spending to allow for the possibility of tax cuts as the Conservative-led government tries to seize the initiative in a pre-election year.
* Monday’s calendar also includes British services PMI for December at 0928 GMT and U.S. durable goods orders at 1500 GMT.
* The finance chiefs of Britain’s biggest companies say their appetite for risk has returned, with a poll showing they believe access to bank lending will ease in 2014, enabling them to expand and hire more staff.
* The UK blue chip index closed up 0.2 percent, or 12.76 points, at 6,730.67 points on Friday.
* CENTAMIN - The miner reports full year gold production of 356,943 ounces, a 36 percent increase on 2012.
* MEGGITT - The British aircraft parts supplier appoints David Johnson as chief operating officer.
* MARKS & SPENCER - UK media highlights the scope for disappointing results from the retailer, which is due to give a trading update on Jan. 9. Britain’s biggest clothing retailer is expected to report weak Christmas trading, adding to pressure on management to end a run of poor results. For a Reuters preview, please click on
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