FTSE 100 movers: Bookies bounce back from FOBT cut; Royal Mail hit by data laws
Credit checker Experian was top of the FTSE 100 gainers board on Thursday afternoon gained after the company said full-year profits fell but revenue growth accelerated towards the end of the year,
National Grid followed close behind after reporting a 4% rise in full-underlying pre-tax profit.
On the corporate front, gambling stocks recovered from earlier losses as the government confirmed that the maximum stake on fixed-odds betting terminals (FOBTs) will be further reduced from £50 to £2. Paddy Power Betfair, GVC Holdings and 888 Holdings all reversed course to trade higher.
George Salmon, equity analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown, said: "The change will impact profits at the big high street bookmakers, but the US Supreme Court’s decision to open up the sports betting market over the pond means shares in the sector are still likely to end the week higher."
"The potential in the US is enormous. Around $150bn is already wagered on the underground market every year, and this will surely rise as barriers to betting are removed. For the UK bookies, the chance to tap into this huge potential could mean lost machine revenues are more than replaced. What’s likely to follow is something of a land grab. First out of the blocks is Paddy Power Betfair, which is already in discussions about a new US partnership."
British Land was also higher after posting a drop in full-year underlying profit but a jump in its net asset value
Luxury fashion brand Burberry was on the rise a day after its results, as analysts including UBS and Credit Suisse bumped up their price targets and estimates for the stock.
Royal Mail was on the back foot despite new chief executive Moya Greene delivering better-than-expected final results, as the company warned that general data protection regulation laws may lead to a steeper decline in letter deliveries this year.
FTSE 100 (UKX) 7,765.65 0.41%
FTSE 100 - Risers
Experian (EXPN) 1,787.50p 4.59%
Burberry Group (BRBY) 1,941.00p 3.91%
National Grid (NG.) 863.20p 3.69%
United Utilities Group (UU.) 786.00p 2.88%
Centrica (CNA) 144.90p 2.84%
Next (NXT) 5,786.00p 2.77%
WPP (WPP) 1,322.50p 2.60%
Severn Trent (SVT) 2,026.00p 2.58%
British Land Company (BLND) 699.00p 2.55%
Marks & Spencer Group (MKS) 295.30p 2.46%
FTSE 100 - Fallers
Royal Mail (RMG) 565.70p -5.37%
Old Mutual (OML) 246.00p -2.15%
HSBC Holdings (HSBA) 727.40p -1.54%
Mediclinic International (MDC) 672.00p -1.32%
Anglo American (AAL) 1,873.40p -1.00%
Hargreaves Lansdown (HL.) 1,954.00p -0.89%
Intertek Group (ITRK) 5,094.00p -0.86%
Coca-Cola HBC AG (CDI) (CCH) 2,576.00p -0.85%
Rolls-Royce Holdings (RR.) 833.00p -0.83%
Rio Tinto (RIO) 4,318.50p -0.72%