(Adds company news items and updated futures)
Oct 16 (Reuters) - Britain’s futures were down 0.30% ahead of cash markets open.
*SECURE TRUST BANK: Secure Trust Bank Plc said on Wednesday demand for loans had slowed in September as consumers and businesses were more cautious ahead of the planned Oct. 31 deadline for Brexit.
*LF WOODFORD INCOME FOCUS FUND: The administrator of the LF Woodford Income Focus Fund said it would make a decision on its future on Wednesday, a day after embattled investor Neil Woodford resigned as its manager and called time on his 30-year career in funds.
BARRATT DEVELOPMENTS: Barratt Developments Plc, Britain’s biggest housebuilder, on Wednesday said sales fell in the beginning of the year even as it delivered more homes, as a focus on better quality in a tough market dented margins.
*ASOS: The British online fashion retailer reported a 68% slump in full year profit, hurt by problems in ramping-up warehouses in the United States and Germany.
*NATIONAL EXPRESS: The British transport firm said on Wednesday it won a 15-year bus contract in Casablanca through its unit ALSA, which is expected to fetch more than 1 billion euros ($1.11 billion) in revenue over its term.
*GOLD: Gold prices edged higher on Wednesday after shedding nearly 1% in the previous session, as it remained unclear if Britain could avoid postponing its departure from the EU beyond Oct. 31.
*OIL: Oil prices rose on Wednesday, tracking gains in equities, as investors pinned hopes on a potential Brexit deal between Britain and the European Union and on signals from OPEC and its allies that further supply curbs could be possible.
* The FTSE 250 of UK mid-cap stocks closed up 1.3% after Bloomberg said British and EU negotiators were closing in on a draft Brexit deal.
* For more on the factors affecting European stocks, please click on:
> Financial Times
> Other business headlines (Reporting by Aniruddha Ghosh from Bengaluru)