* Britain's FTSE 100 index is seen opening down 6 to 9 points, or as much as 0.2 percent lower on Monday, according to financial bookmakers. Futures on the index traded down 0.3 percent at 5,750.50 points by 0719 GMT. For more on the factors affecting European stocks, please click on
* Hurricane Sandy, which could become the largest storm ever to hit the United States, is set to bring much of the East Coast, including New York and Washington, to a virtual standstill in the next few days with battering winds, flooding and the risk of widespread power outages.
* Asian shares slipped overnight as investors switched their focus away from signs of stable U.S. growth, looking instead at tepid global corporate earnings and the uncertain economic outlook.
* The UK blue-chip index ended broadly flat on Friday, at 5,806.71 points, as a fall in financial stocks offset gains in mining shares such as Anglo American.
* London copper steadied above 7-week lows plumbed last week, but oil prices fell fell as refineries along the U.S. East Coast wind down operations ahead of approaching Hurricane Sandy, reducing crude use in the world's largest oil consumer.
* Economic growth in Britain will be "materially" lower in the fourth quarter, after an unexpectedly strong boost from the Olympic Games, and it will remain weak for the next couple of years, Bank of England chief economist Spencer Dale told the Times newspaper.
* British firms plan to hire more staff over the next 12 months, a survey by business lobby CBI showed on Monday, raising hopes that a strong improvement of the labour market will continue.
* Monday's diary includes UK mortgage lending and U.S. personal consumption data for September, and is light on UK corporate reports.
* PEARSON : The publisher has agreed to merge its Penguin book division with Bertelsmann's Random House to create the world's leading consumer publisher, in a snub to a mooted bid from Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. Pearson also reiterated its outlook and took the opportunity to publish a trading update, showing sales were up by 5 percent in the first nine months, while operating profit was down by 5 percent.
* UK BANKS : The third quarter results of three of Britain's biggest banks - RBS, Lloyds and Barclays - are expected to show the lenders making fresh provisions over payment protection insurance (PPI), the Daily Telegraph reports.
* VODAFONE : The mobile phone operator has performed well, but sources at the company say it cannot sustain dividend payouts at the current level, according to the Daily Mail, which gives no details of the scale of possible cuts.
* BAE SYSTEMS : The engineering group has been awarded a 315 million sterling contract by the UK Ministry of Defence for work on replacing the Royal Navy's Vanguard class submarines, reports the Daily Express.
TODAY'S UK PAPERS
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