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HSBC hands Flutter a boost on Gold Cup day

Odds: Investors in Paddy Power owner Flutter have been boosted by HSBC analysts

MARKET REPORT: Investors in Paddy Power owner Flutter have been given a boost as HSBC analysts raise its share target price to 16,900p from 14,300p

The bookmakers may have edged him at Cheltenham yesterday, even after Galopin Des Champs won the Gold Cup on St. Patrick’s Day.

And investors in Paddy Power owner Flutter received a further boost as HSBC analysts raised its share price target to 16,900p from 14,300p.

The investment bank said the gaming giant’s plans for an additional US listing should boost its value, while clarity on UK regulations in the upcoming white paper “could be a positive catalyst”.

He also hailed the “strong” trade in the UK and the “excellent” momentum in the US.

The upgrade came as punters – many of whom had a few Guinnesses inside – watched jockey Paul Townend drive home the 7-5 favorite ahead of Bravemansgame and Conflated.

Odds: Investors in Paddy Power owner Flutter have been boosted by HSBC analysts

Odds: Investors in Paddy Power owner Flutter have been boosted by HSBC analysts

However, Flutter shares slid 1.5%, or 205p, to 13,625p, rival Entain, which owns Ladbrokes and Coral, fell 0.5%, or 6p, to 1,207.5p and owner William Hill 888 fell 8.1%, or 5.15p, to 58.85p. The Gold Cup would have provided much-needed respite for many townspeople at the end of a tumultuous week. The FTSE 100 was down 1%, or 74.63 points, at 7335.4, in another dismal session for the leading London index. The FTSE 250 fell 1.5%, or 287.75 points, to 18,470.83.

Rising metal prices boosted mining stocks with Glencore gaining 2.2%, or 9.45p, to 432.65p, Anglo American rising 1%, or 25p, to 2,504p, Fresnillo up 1.8%, or 12.2p, at 710p. Rio Tinto, however, fell 0.6%, or 31p, to 5250p.

Investors made another run for safe-haven assets, helping lift gold producer Endeavor Mining up 2.4%, or 42p, to 1,760p. Oil prices fell to around $73 a barrel as demand was hit by fears about the health of the global economy.

Bodycote, the heat treatment specialist, was among the companies that benefited from a positive trading session. Revenue rose 20.8% to £743.6m for 2022. Profit jumped 23% to £95.3m. The shares gained 5.9%, or 34p, to 615.5p.

Talks over a possible takeover of John Wood Group will continue after the engineering group asked its potential buyer for an extra month to submit an offer.

US private equity giant Apollo has had four bids rejected, including its latest offer of 237p per share.

Its deadline to bid by March 22 has been extended to 5 p.m. on April 19. Jefferies analysts said their “upside scenario” would be a bid of 290p per share.

The shares rose 1.5%, or 3p, to 205.9p. The BT boss has been slapped by the telecoms watchdog after saying his company’s network expansion will “end in tears” for some of its competitors.

Ofcom has delayed concluding its investigation into a new Openreach pricing plan as its chief executive, Melanie Dawes, wrote in a letter to Philip Jansen that her comments caused “significant concern”. The shares fell 6.1%, or 8.9p, to 137.75p.

Meanwhile, the London Stock Exchange Group (LSEG) rose 2%, or 144p, to 7470p after UBS raised its rating from ‘neutral’ to ‘buy’ and raised the target price to 8700p from 8500p. The broker attributed this to an improved forecast for LSEG’s Trading & Banking (T&B) division.

GSK gained 1%, or 13.8p, to 1400.8p after Deutsche Bank upgraded the company’s shares to ‘buy’ from ‘hold’ and raised the target price to 1700p from 1500p.

But private equity group Bridgepoint fell 10.1%, or 21.7p, to 193.7p after Peel Hunt downgraded the company’s rating to ‘hold’ from ‘buy’ and lowered its target price at 220p versus 340p.

Technical products supplier Diploma raised £235m alongside the purchase of Tennessee Industrial Electronics for around £76m. The shares rose 3.2%, or 84p, to 2,720p.

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