The FTSE 100 got off to a decent start this morning as a fall in the pound boosted the exporter-heavy index.

Sterling has dipped as a deal between the UK and the European Union ahead of the Brexit deadline becomes ever more unlikely.

Just before 9am, the UK’s benchmark index stood almost 30 points, or 0.4%, higher at 7,172.73.

Sports betting company GVC Holdings (GVC) jumped 3.4% to 775p as it lifted its outlook on earnings amid strong online growth.

In a third quarter update, the gambling firm said gaming revenue rose 12% in the period from 1 July to 30 September, despite the comparative period last year including the 2018 World Cup.

It therefore raised its full year earnings guidance to between £670-680m, up from £650-670m.

Investment trust Baillie Gifford Japan (BGFD) moved 0.4% higher to 834p despite revealing a rare bout of underperformance in its full year results.

For the year to 31 August, net asset value total return fell by 5.3%, compared with the 0.5% fall in the benchmark TOPIX index total return.

Annual turnover was up 11.5% during the year, while the share price total return fell by 7.4%.

B&Q and Screwfix owner Kingfisher (KGF) increased 0.65% to 190p as it appointed a new chief financial officer (CFO).

Bernard Bot will join from travel tech giant Travelport, while John Wartig – who was interim CFO while Kingfisher looked for someone permanent in the role – takes up the newly created role of chief transformation and development officer.

Student landlord Unite (UTG) edged 0.2% higher to £10.82 after agreeing a deal to provide 559 of 976 rooms for the University of Leeds and its White Rose View development.

Unite chief executive Richard Smith said the deal supports its focus on the ‘quality and security’ of its income, aligning itself with ‘mid and high-tariff universities where there is strong demand for affordable, high-quality student accommodation’.

He added that the firm continues to target between one and two new university partnerships deals each year.

Specialist chemicals company Zotefoams (ZTF) moved 1.2% higher to 341p as it launched a new recyclable barrier packaging technology.

Barrier packaging is widely used for foodstuffs and beverages to prevent the ingress of moisture and oxygen.

Zotefoams said it had committed more than $1m to install a pilot line near its MuCell Extrusion laboratories in Massachusetts, US to accelerate commercial-scale product development by licensees.

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Issue Date: 09 Oct 2019