Market Report: Gambling traders moving into Bwin

City traders like a gamble, right? Well there were certainly enough punters fond of a flutter to push Bwin.Party Digital Entertainment up more than 6 per cent yesterday. The online poker business has been the subject of spurious bid rumours over the past month and yesterday the rumours, on a predominantly quiet Thursday, increased.

Private-equity players or overseas competitors were suggested as potential bidders by hopeful traders. Its shares moved up 6.8p to 116.1p. The sector is waiting to see what happens with William Hill and GVC Holdings' interest in Sportingbet. The pair are rumoured to be coming back with a 60p-a-share bid. If Ladbrokes is well out of the race, some traders thought Ladbrokes might look at a merger with Bwin.Party instead. But with an extremely difficult market for online poker and various legislative and tax issues in Europe, not least Germany, other traders urged caution.

After falls in early summer, Bwin's shares have jumped more than 26 per cent in the past month. Ladbrokes moved up 2.4p to 177.9p.

Traders also turned their focus to the pest controller Rentokil, with very vague whispers of bidder interest pushing the shares up 4.25p to 87.25p.

Traders still not out of energy to add grist to the rumour mill found something to talk about in the restaurants and pubs company Mitchells & Butlers. Its shares fizzed up 8.6p to 301p as traders hoped there could be more stakebuilding.

Moving toward the end of a very quiet week characterised by low volumes, the benchmark FTSE 100 index gained 1.97 points to 5,827.78, despite the eurozone shenanigans rattling on with the Spanish debt crisis unresolved and the European Central Bank's press conference an anti-climax.

Chelsea's team may have just beaten Arsenal and FC Nordsjælland to continue their winning streak, but Roman Abramovich was not enjoying such a good result yesterday. Russia's biggest steelmaker and coalminer, Evraz, backed by Mr Abramovich, tunnelled towards the bottom of the Footsie after announcing it is almost doubling its stake in the digger Raspadskaya. Evraz is raising its share in the coal producer from 42 per cent to 82 per cent in an $800m (£500m) cash-and-shares deal. The move will give Evraz more control over the supply of the coking coal used to make steel, and is likely to make it the largest coking coal producer in Russia. But traders were unhappy, citing fears of over-exposure, and Evraz's shares lost 2.2p to 245.1p.

Back in July, Morgan Stanley said it was concerned that Evraz is assuming higher steel, coal and iron-ore prices than analysts forecast, which could affect its projected earnings. The broker warned: "Evraz's coking coal and iron ore prices in 2016 are 18 per cent and 25 per cent above our estimates."

On the subject of coal-miners, Nat Rothschild's long-suffering, debt-laden Bumi was in focus again. Its subsidiary PT Bumi Resources, Indonesia's biggest exporter of thermal coal, said it will bring in a strategic partner as part of a fundraising drive, and Liberum Capital warned "any rights issue undertaken … would be targeted to a new strategic shareholder and therefore be dilutive to [Bumi's] shareholders." Nonetheless, Bumi's shares lifted 1p to 161p.

Tate & Lyle got a boost from analysts at Credit Suisse and Investec, who raised their target prices to 750p and 700p. Its shares rose 12.5p to 687p.

On yer bike – the Olympics effect has taken hold of the nation. The bike and car-accessories retailer Halfords unveiled a new chief executive – Matt Davies from Pets at Home – and an update showing that sales raced up 14.7 per cent in the quarter. The shares rose 37.5p to 303.5p.

Aim-listed alternative-energy firm Ceres Power wasn't so lucky. The cash-strapped fuel-cell technology developer said it had been unable to secure sufficient funding to keep the business going and its shares crashed 6.7p to 2p.

Meanwhile the oil explorer and punters' favourite Gulf Keystone Petroleum revealed it will raise $200m via convertible bonds to develop its Shaikan block in the Kurdistan region of Iraq. Its shares retreated 19p to 211p on the news. But traders thought that the relatively insignificant fall, compared with its usual peaks and troughs, meant many of the sellers were being absorbed by the market.

Arts & Entertainment
Madonna in her music video for 'Like A Virgin'
music... and other misheard song lyrics
News
Waitrose will be bringing in more manned tills
newsOverheard in Waitrose: documenting the chatter in 'Britain's poshest supermarket'
News
The energy drink MosKa was banned for containing a heavy dose of the popular erectile dysfunction Levitra
news
News
Much of the colleges’ land is off-limits to locals in Cambridge, with tight security
educationAnd has the Cambridge I knew turned its back on me?
VIDEO
Sport
Australia's Dylan Tombides competes for the ball with Adal Matar of Kuwait during the AFC U-22 Championship Group C match in January
sportDylan Tombides was diagnosed with testicular cancer in 2011
News
Ida Beate Loken has been living at the foot of a mountain since May
newsNorwegian gives up home comforts for a cave
Extras
indybest10 best gardening gloves
News
Russia's President Vladimir Putin gives his annual televised question-and-answer session
peopleBizarre TV claim
Arts & Entertainment
tvIt might all be getting a bit much, but this is still the some of the finest TV ever made, says Grace Dent
Arts & Entertainment
Comedian Lenny Henry is calling for more regulation to support ethnic actors on TV
tvActor and comedian leads campaign against 'lack of diversity' in British television
News
Posted at the end of March, this tweeted photo was a week off the end of their Broadway shows
people
News
peopleStar to remain in hospital for up to 27 days to get over allergic reaction
Arts & Entertainment
The Honesty Policy is a group of anonymous Muslims who believe that the community needs a space to express itself without shame or judgement
music
News
Who makes you happy?
happy listSend your nominations now for the Independent on Sunday Happy List
Life & Style
life
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition iPad app?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

1st Line Helpdesk Engineer Apprentice

£150.00 per week: QA Apprenticeships: This company has been providing on site ...

Telesales & Sales Support Apprentice

£221.25 per week: QA Apprenticeships: This company is a well established Inter...

Client Relationship Manager - SQL, Python

£40000 - £50000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Client Relationship Manager - SQL...

**Financial Services Tax**

£35000 - £50000 per annum: Pro-Recruitment Group: Take your chance to join the...

Day In a Page

How I brokered a peace deal with Robert Mugabe: Roy Agyemang reveals the delicate diplomacy needed to get Zimbabwe’s President to sit down with the BBC

How I brokered a peace deal with Robert Mugabe

Roy Agyemang reveals the delicate diplomacy needed to get Zimbabwe’s President to sit down with the BBC
Video of British Muslims dancing to Pharrell Williams's hit Happy attacked as 'sinful'

British Muslims's Happy video attacked as 'sinful'

The four-minute clip by Honesty Policy has had more than 300,000 hits on YouTube
Church of England-raised Michael Williams describes the unexpected joys in learning about his family's Jewish faith

Michael Williams: Do as I do, not as I pray

Church of England-raised Williams describes the unexpected joys in learning about his family's Jewish faith
A History of the First World War in 100 moments: A visit to the Front Line by the Prime Minister's wife

A History of the First World War in 100 moments

A visit to the Front Line by the Prime Minister's wife
Comedian Jenny Collier: 'Sexism I experienced on stand-up circuit should be extinct'

Jenny Collier: 'Sexism on stand-up circuit should be extinct'

The comedian's appearance at a show on the eve of International Women's Day was cancelled because they had "too many women" on the bill
Cannes Film Festival: Ken Loach and Mike Leigh to fight it out for the Palme d'Or

Cannes Film Festival

Ken Loach and Mike Leigh to fight it out for the Palme d'Or
The concept album makes surprise top ten return with neolithic opus from Jethro Tull's Ian Anderson

The concept album makes surprise top ten return

Neolithic opus from Jethro Tull's Ian Anderson is unexpected success
Lichen is the surprise new ingredient on fine-dining menus, thanks to our love of Scandinavian and Indian cuisines

Lichen is surprise new ingredient on fine-dining menus

Emily Jupp discovers how it can give a unique, smoky flavour to our cooking
10 best baking books

10 best baking books

Planning a spot of baking this bank holiday weekend? From old favourites to new releases, here’s ten cookbooks for you
Jury still out on Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini

Jury still out on Pellegrini

Draw with Sunderland raises questions over Manchester City manager's ability to motivate and unify his players
Ben Stokes: 'Punching lockers isn't way forward'

Ben Stokes: 'Punching lockers isn't way forward'

The all-rounder has been hailed as future star after Ashes debut but incident in Caribbean added to doubts about discipline. Jon Culley meets a man looking to control his emotions
Mark Johnston: First £1 million jackpot spurs him on

Mark Johnston: First £1 million jackpot spurs him on

The most prize money ever at an All-Weather race day is up for grabs at Lingfield on Friday, and the record-breaking trainer tells Jon Freeman how times have changed
Ricky Gervais: 'People are waiting for me to fail. If you think it's awful, then just don't watch it'

Ricky Gervais: 'People are waiting for me to fail'

As the second series of his divisive sitcom 'Derek' hits screens, the comedian tells James Rampton why he'll never bow to the critics who habitually circle his work
Mad Men series 7, TV review: The suits are still sharp, but Don Draper has lost his edge

Mad Men returns for a final fling

The suits are still sharp, but Don Draper has lost his edge
Google finds a lift into space will never get off the ground as there is no material strong enough for a cable from Earth into orbit

Google finds a lift into space will never get off the ground

Technology giant’s scientists say there is no material strong enough for a cable from Earth into orbit