LONDON, Oct 8 (Reuters) - Britain’s FTSE 100 index is seen opening down by 23 points, or 0.4 lower on Wednesday, according to financial bookmakers. For more on the factors affecting European stocks, please click on
* The UK blue chip index ended 1 percent lower at 6,495.58 points on Tuesday.
* BARCLAYS : Barclays PLC on Tuesday urged a New York court to toss the state attorney general’s fraud case over how the bank ran its private U.S. trading venue, saying the case oversteps state securities laws and offers no proof any investors were hurt.
* VODAFONE /SWISSCOM : Telecom operator Swisscom is considering a possible sale of its Italian broadband firm Fastweb, which is worth up to 5 billion euros ($6.3 billion) and has been a target for Vodafone, sources familiar with the situation said.
* ANGLO AMERICAN : Global miner Anglo American is planning to initiate the sale of its three smallest copper mines in Chile and a smelter worth $1 billion by end of the year, Bloomberg reported, citing sources familiar with the matter.
* GW PHARMACEUTICALS : A pioneering cannabis drug developed by British firm GW Pharmaceuticals for treating spasticity in multiple sclerosis has been rejected as not cost-effective in the company’s home market.
* CHINESE ECONOMY: Growth in China’s services sector weakened slightly in September as new business cooled, a private survey showed on Wednesday, reinforcing signs of a slowdown in the world’s second-largest economy that could prompt more stimulus measures.
* OIL: Brent crude futures fell below $91 a barrel on Wednesday, to its lowest since June 2012, holding to a months-long tumble in prices as lower economic growth forecasts raised new concerns about global oil demand amid rising U.S. inventory levels.
* UK RETAIL SECTOR: Prices in British shops fell last month at a faster pace, driven down by a steep decline in prices for non-food products, the British Retail Consortium said on Wednesday.
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