William Hill Bets on U.S. as Pound Gains on Softer Brexit Report

Wednesday, September 5: The FTSE 100 alongside major European indices opened lower once more as trade worries continued to dominate investors’ thoughts. The FTSE 100 was off 1.00% at the close as general risk aversion took hold, with little in the way of stock specific news to negate the negative momentum.

FTSE 250 William Hill(+1.74%) moved higher after announcing a deal to enter the US gambling market. The bookmaker announced that it has entered a partnership with Nasdaq-listed Eldorado resorts for digital and land-based sports betting and online gaming in the US. Eldorado has 21 properties across 11 states, with an estimated customer base of 23 million people, with Eldorado’s pending acquisition of Tropicana Entertainment set to extend this further. According to the agreement, William Hill will become Eldorado’s exclusive partner to provide digital and land-based sports betting services alongside online gaming. This is the latest foray into the US market by a FTSE-listed company following the lifting of US sports betting regulation earlier this year by the Supreme Court. Peers GVC Holdings and Paddy Power Betfair have already moved to capitalise on the opening up of the US market earlier this year.

Today’s UK service PMI painted a rosier picture than yesterday’s PMI Construction print, but did little to stem the negative sentiment towards sterling and UK assets. The read for August came in at 54.3, up from 53.5 in July and surpassing the consensus forecast in a Reuters poll of economists. Combined with manufacturing and construction sector data earlier this week, the PMI picture pointed to a repeat of the overall economy’s 0.4% quarterly growth rate recorded in Q2 of this year.  Respite for the pound arrived later but proved relatively short lived as US markets opened – this was on the back of a Bloomberg news report which suggested that the UK and Germany have abandoned key Brexit demands, sterling was up against both the dollar(+1.13%) and the euro(+0.76%) shortly after the report was digested by markets.

At the close European equities were mixed, with the FTSE 100 -1.00%, the CAC 40 -1.54% and the DAX -1.39%.

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