* Britain’s FTSE 100 index is seen opening 9 to 14 points lower, or as much as 0.2 percent, on Wednesday, according to financial bookmakers. For more on the factors affecting European stocks, please click on
* The UK blue chip index closed 11.00 points, or 0.2 percent, lower at 5,809.45 on Tuesday as weakness in banks and miners overpowered results-related gains for companies such as Babcock and Tesco.
* Britain scrapped on Wednesday a $9 billion deal that had awarded the West Coast rail line to FirstGroup Plc, citing flaws in the government’s figures, just a day after the company had said it was prepared to take over the key mainline train service this year.
* TESCO - Britain’s biggest retailer posted a small rise in quarterly underlying sales in its home market after 18 months of decline, indicating changes introduced after a shock January profit warning were starting to make an impact.
* J SAINSBURY - Britain’s third-biggest supermarket group posted better than expected quarterly sales growth, boosted by strong take-up of its own label range and the roll out of its convenience stores.
* EASYJET - British low-cost airline raised its full year profit guidance after a robust summer performance, boosted by strong demand to European beach routes from London.
* BRITVIC - The British soft drinks group and Irn-Bru maker AG Barr said the takeover panel had agreed to extend “the put up or shut up” deadline on their 1.3 billion pound ($2.10 billion) merger.
* The European Union’s banking watchdog will stick to a target for banks to raise more capital to help shield them from the euro zone debt crisis when it publishes a new report on Wednesday.
* Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy said on Tuesday a request for European aid was not imminent following a report the country could apply for help as soon as this weekend.
* Copper fell on Wednesday after climbing for four days, as a fragile global economy and Europe’s lingering debt crisis curbed buying interest, with a week-long public holiday in top copper consumer China keeping trading volumes extremely thin.
* China’s normally robust services sector weakened sharply in September to its lowest point since November 2010, as slow growth in manufacturing finally began to feed through to the rest of the economy, an official survey showed.
* Brent crude futures slipped towards $111 per barrel, hurt by persistent concerns over global growth and oil demand, while Europe’s festering debt crisis added to uncertainty.
* GLENCORE - The commodities trader has formally notified the European Commission of its $33 billion plan to take over miner Xstrata, sources familiar with the matter said, after months of preliminary talks designed to pave the way for a swift approval.
* Rules aimed at cracking down on dominant shareholders and reverse takeovers have been set out by the City of London watchdog in response to problems raised at miners Bumi and ENRC, Financial Times reported, quoting the Financial Services Authority.
TODAY‘S UK PAPERS
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