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Three things you need to know in the financial markets this morning from investment writer, Tony Cross.

AstraZeneca

AstraZeneca [LON:AZN] has published a solid set of results for the first quarter this morning, with revenue growth of 15% being recorded. Stripping out the effect of the COVID-19 vaccine, that drops, albeit still to an impressive 11%. Guidance for the full year has been maintained and the company expects to see further acceleration of key metrics as the impact of the COVID pandemic starts to wane.

Barclays

Bumper numbers from Barclays [LON:BARC] this morning, with record Q1 pre-tax profits being recorded. The key Return on Tangible Equity metric has jumped to 14.7% from just 5.1% a year ago and the improved economic outlook means that the bank has significantly reduced its bad loan expectations. Although there’s still some uncertainty over the outlook, the company still expects to see a meaningful improvement in RoTE for the full year and has a medium term target of in excess of 10% here.

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Card Factory

There’s a trading update out from The Card Factory [LON:CARD] this morning, which notes that since stores in England reopened on April 12th, sales have exceeded expectations. The company is however undertaking a refinancing and although covenant waivers have been obtained, these only run to the end of next month. Further updates have been promised here.

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Please note this article does not constitute investment advice. Investors are encouraged to do their own research beforehand or consult a professional advisor.

Tony Cross

Tony Cross

Tony Cross is a market commentator with over 15 years of experience, producing compelling, insightful copy for journalists and investors alike. Focusing on macroeconomics, UK blue chip equities and inter market analysis, Cross's commentary is well regarded for its clarity and ability to cut through the waffle. He has been quoted in publications as diverse as The Financial Times, The Times, The Guardian and The Sun. He has also been a regular guest on both Share Radio and TipTV.

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