Oct 29 - Britain's FTSE 100 index is seen opening 8 points lower at 5,575 on Thursday, according to financial bookmakers. * ASTRAZENECA: Senior sources in the British government expect that a verdict on whether Pfizer Inc-backed COVID-19 vaccine works will be available before the results are in on AstraZeneca Plc's competing vaccine, the Times reported. * STANDARD CHARTERED: Standard Chartered said third-quarter profit slid 40% on higher credit impairment resulting from the coronavirus pandemic and lower interest rates, although a tighter rein on costs helped it beat expectations. * ASTON MARTIN: British luxury car maker Aston Martin is testing investor appetite for risky assets days before the U.S. election with a 840-million-pound junk bond sale, one of the largest deals of its kind in Europe this year. * GOLD: Gold edged up after a plunge in the previous session as surging global coronavirus cases and fears of a contested U.S. presidential election spurred demand, although a strong dollar capped gains. * OIL: Oil prices rose in early trading, regaining some of the ground lost in a 5% slump overnight, amid the prospect of tighter short-term supply with two-thirds of U.S. output shut in the Gulf of Mexico as Hurricane Zeta slammed Louisiana. * The UK blue-chip index closed 2.6% lower on Wednesday as investors dumped riskier assets on fears of more lockdowns and uncertainty over a British trade deal with the EU. * UK CORPORATE DIARY: EVRAZ Plc Q3 trading update Angle Plc HY earnings BT Group Plc HY earnings Smith & Nephew Plc Q3 trading statement WPP Plc Q3 trading statement KAZ Minerals Plc Q3 production report Indivior Plc Q3 earnings * For more on the factors affecting European stocks, please click on: TODAY'S UK PAPERS > Financial Times > Other business headlines (Reporting by Priyanshi Mandhan)
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