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

Centrica

There’s a trading statement out from Centrica this morning, which is unlikely to impress investors, with price regulation and warmer than expected weather taking a toll on the UK retail operations. Even if these are temporary factors, the company acknowledges they will have an impact on performance in the first half of 2019 so is launching a series of cost saving measures to maintain profitability. This includes the loss of up to 2,000 jobs and £500m worth of divestments.

Dignity

Q1 numbers from funeral operator Dignity are out this morning and numbers for the group have been hit by the fact that in the first quarter of the year there was a 12% decrease in the number of people in the UK who died. This has been reflected in a 15% reduction in turnover and a 42% fall in profits, although the company expects the quarterly mortality reading to be something of an outlier and over the course of the year, this reading should normalise.

Metro Bank

Metro Bank has issued a statement today regarding weekend press speculation over its capital raising activity. The £350m stipend is well advanced although there have been some questions floated by analysts in the media about pre-emption rights. The bank says it will respect these as far as practicable – the detail here will certainly be interesting to watch, along with investors’ reaction to management.

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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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