A trading update from bookmaker William Hill PLC (LON:WMH) due on Wednesday will likely be all about the outlook, particularly in the short-term as the UK government’s new lockdown restrictions threaten to force the bookmaker to shutter some of its stores in affected areas as Britain tries to flatten out the infection rate of a second coronavirus wave.
However, the UK situation will only be part of the story, with the US likely to be the subject of the longer-term focus as the company is seemingly on the cusp of being snapped up by Las Vegas casino operator Caesars Entertainment, which made a GBP2.9bn offer for the group last month.
With William Hill’s board seeing the bid at a level they would consider, any updates on the process will be closely eyed, as well as any notes on US strategy as the firm seems set on pivoting across the Atlantic to avoid the looming spectre of increased regulations in the UK betting market.
UK inflation on the rise
Pantheon Economics expects September’s UK consumer prices (CPI) report, released on Wednesday, to show that inflation rose to 0.6% from 0.2% in August, in line with the consensus estimates but above the 0.3% rate forecast by the Bank of England in August’s Monetary Policy Report.
It is unlikely, however, that the headline inflation rate will exceed 1% until the second quarter of 2021, giving strong grounds for the BoE to sign off more quantitative easing (QE) before the end of this year, Pantheon added.
The downward pull on the headline rate from the energy components likely lessened only marginally in September.
Electricity and natural gas prices were unchanged in September, while motor fuel’s contribution to the headline rate likely increased by a mere 0.02 percentage points, due to a 0.2% month-to-month rise in prices.
In addition, food inflation probably rose only to 0.5% in September, from 0.4% in August, driven by a base effect, lifting its contribution to the headline rate by just 0.01pp.
Granted, food and energy prices were little changed in September, and core goods inflation probably fell, but the end of restaurant discounts and a recovery in air transport inflation likely boosted services inflation, Pantheon noted.
Tesla revving up
Tesla pushed global deliveries to 139,300 in the third quarter and recently announced price cuts across its models as it looks to accelerate production to 181,000 in the final three months of the year to meet founder Elon Musk’s 500,000 target for this year.
With the electric car manufacturer’s shares up 426% this year there is a lot at stake for Tesla and Musk.
“The key catalyst for Tesla in the short-term is the growing EV market in China which is supplied through its Gigafactory in Shanghai and the outlook for China sales is key to how the stock price will react,” said Peter Garnry, head of equity strategy at Saxo Bank.
“The historical absolute change around earnings releases has been around 9.5% and we expect a lot of volatility around Q3 earnings simply because of the enormous momentum in the stock price this year.”
Significant events expected on Wednesday, October 21:
Economic data: UK inflation