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All bets off

The FTSE is under pressure as the market braces for Boris Johnson’s speech at the Conservative Party conference later today with leaked documents showing a tweak to the Irish backstop proposal the PM is expected to present to the EU as his “final” offer. 

For the moment the pound is moderately weaker against the dollar but there could be more volatility as the crucial day of the Tory party conference takes shape.

Gambling with the future seems to be the theme this morning and unlike the PM, Flutter Entertainment took advantage of it properly as it decided to merge with online gaming group Stars. Shares in Flutter, former Paddy Power Betfair, skyrocketed as the merger is about to create the biggest online betting platform.

Tesco beats Brexit gloom with profit increases

Despite the Brexit gloom and doom Tesco managed to keep profits on the rise in the first six months of the year and increased its dividend by almost 50%. Shares gained a modest 0.9% this morning as the market chewed on news that the company’s Chief Executive Dave Lewis will step down next summer to be replaced by the supermarket chain’s current chief commercial officer.

But overall the London gauge did not manage to shake off the scare from the US markets caused by weak US manufacturing figures and the gloom from Asian markets which are sliding on fears of slower Chinese growth. Chinese markets are closed now until next Tuesday for state celebrations, but no economic news has been exchanged for a display of Beijing’s long-range weapons, enough to give Washington sleepless nights more so than the content of the next trade negotiation.

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