Investors cheered as bookie William Hill made further gains in the US after the sports betting ban was lifted.
It inked a 25-year partnership with US casino operator Eldorado Resorts, giving it access to a growing pool of 23m customers across 11 US states.
UK betting firms have been pouring into the US since the Supreme Court ruling in May which lifted the ban.
The country became even more important to the sector after a crackdown on gambling machines in the UK that pushed William Hill’s shares to a five-year low in August.
William Hill has inked a 25-year partnership with US casino operator Eldorado Resorts – giving it access to a growing pool of 23m customers across 11 US states
Under the deal, Eldorado will get a 20 per cent stake in William Hill US. It is chief executive Philip Bowcock’s third US deal in just over one month, sending shares up 4.83 per cent, or 12p, to 260.5p.
Troubled athleisure retailer Footasylum continued its slide, meaning it has now sunk about 60 per cent since its Monday profit warning.
It fell 12.42 per cent, or 4.75p, to 33.5p amid a damning note from analysts at Peel Hunt who recommended investors start dumping stock.
The team noted: ‘Our conversation with the company did not leave us feeling that the business is about to stabilise, nor that the shares have stopped falling. Management seems to have lost its confidence.’
Overall the FTSE 100 closed down 1 per cent, or 74.58 points, to 7,383.28 points, amid a roller-coaster day for the pound.
Stock Watch – Gem Diamonds
Shares in diamond miner Gem Diamonds jumped as it posted an 81 per cent rise in half-year sales to £129million, its best half since 2011.
Sales have been helped by a record haul of ten diamonds greater than 100 carats from its Letseng mine in the African kingdom of Lesotho.
Liberum analysts said: ‘The turnaround has been staggering and management are confident there is more to come.’
Shares have risen about 63 per cent over the past year, closing up 2.16 per cent, or 2.5p, to 118.5p.
Sterling fell early amid business pessimism before leaping after Bloomberg reported that Germany had abandoned key Brexit demands, suggesting a deal with the UK might be on the horizon.
However, it lost momentum after the reports were denied by both countries, while analysts cautioned Germany’s stance was not so crucial to the outcome.
Sliding currencies in Turkey and South Africa, meanwhile, battered packaging firm Mondi, which has a strong presence in both countries.
Adding to the Turkish lira’s freefall, the rand weakened as South African data confirmed the country was in recession.
Mondi fell 1.63 per cent, or 35p, to 2,115p. Turkey also weighed on tour operator Thomas Cook (down 4.94 per cent, or 4.05p, to 77.9p), while South Africa dented Mediclinic International – down 2.51 per cent, or 12.5p, to 486.2p.
Fresh from selling its US shale oil wells to BP in an £8billion deal, BHP splashed out around £27.4million to get a better grip on copper.
The Anglo-Australian miner, under pressure from activist investor Elliott, bought a 6 per cent stake in Australian miner SolGold, which owns the promising Cascabel copper-gold project in Ecuador.
Miners are keen to get more copper projects as demand is expected to grow, but major projects are thin on the ground.
BHP tried to buy 10 per cent of SolGold in 2016 for £23million, but was shot down by bosses who said their offer was inadequate.
It is now paying around £27.4million for Guyana Goldfield’s 6pc stake.
Investors in SolGold cheered, sending shares up 20.6 per cent, or 4.4p, to 25.8p. BHP shares were held back, however, by concerns about renewed tensions between the US and trade partners, which sent commodity prices tumbling.
BHP fell 1.02 per cent, or 16.6p, to 1,618.4p, while Rio Tinto was also down 0.27 per cent, or 9.5p, to 3,564p. Anglo American fell 1.15 per cent, or 17.8p, to 1,530p.
Investors in troubled Chemring were cheered after it was hired by the US department of defence to help it detect chemical weapons.
Shares plunged 20 per cent in August after a worker died in an explosion at its key site in Salisbury.
They ticked up yesterday 5.37 per cent, or 11p, to 216p.