(Adds company news items, futures)
Nov 4 (Reuters) - Britain’s FTSE 100 index is seen opening 46 points higher at 5,833 on Wednesday, according to financial bookmakers, with futures down 0.90% ahead of cash market open.
* MARKS AND SPENCER: British retailer Marks and Spencer slumped to a first-half loss, the first in its 94 years as a publicly listed company, after clothing sales were hammered by the COVID-19 pandemic.
* PROVIDENT FINANCIAL: Doorstep lender Provident Financial Plc said collection performance in its home credit business has now aligned with pre-coronavirus levels, with the company on track to meet market expectations for the year.
* MITIE GROUP: Outsourcer Mitie Group said it would now issue fewer shares to buy rival Interserve’s support services arm, lowering the deal value to 190 million pounds ($274 million), while saying its board does not plan to declare an interim dividend.
* GOLD: Gold fell as the dollar strengthened after U.S. President Donald Trump grabbed an early lead in the key state of Florida, muddying the path for his Democratic rival Joe Biden.
* OIL: Oil rose around 2% after industry data showed crude inventories in the United States fell sharply, but trading was choppy as the outcome of the U.S. presidential election remained unclear.
* The UK blue-chip index closed 2.3% higher on Tuesday, getting a boost from banks on rising bets of more stimulus measures to soften the economic blow from a new wave of coronavirus infections.
* For more on the factors affecting European stocks, please click on:
TODAY’S UK PAPERS
> Financial Times
> Other business headlines ($1 = 0.7686 pounds) (Reporting by Priyanshi Mandhan)
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