LONDON, Oct 16 (Reuters) - Britain’s FTSE 100 index is seen opening slightly lower on Wednesday, with futures off 0.1 percent at 0631 GMT before the cash market open, as anxious investors hope that talks to avert a U.S. debt default could result in a deal before the Oct. 17 deadline. For more on the factors affecting European stocks, please click on
* The blue-chip FTSE 100 index closed up 41.46 points, or 0.6 percent, at 6,549.11 points on Tuesday, trading around its highest levels since Sept. 27, which was before the political deadlock that partially shut down the U.S. government.
* U.S. Senate leaders were still discussing a deal late on Tuesday aimed at raising the debt limit and reopening federal agencies that have been closed for two weeks. Senate aides said a deal was close but earlier hopes that a deal could be announced late on Tuesday were not met.
* Fitch Ratings warned on Tuesday that it could cut the United States’ prized AAA credit rating.
* No FTSE 100 companies will go ex-dividend on Wednesday.
* UK unemployment data is set for release at 0830 GMT, with the numbers now back in focus as new Bank of England Governor Mark Carney has linked a fall in jobless figures to any future rise in interest rates.
* HOCHSCHILD MINING : The company said it is on track to meet its 2013 output target.
* IMI : The engineer said it is trading in line with expectations, as it announced the disposal of its beverage dispense and merchandising divisions as well as the proposed return of cash to shareholders.
* GALLIFORD TRY : The construction and housebuilding firm said it has won Scottish school contracts.
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