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

J Sainsbury

Retailer J Sainsbury [LON:SBRY] has published a Q2 trading statement today as it looks to move beyond its failed attempt to buy Asda. The headlines may be showing an outperformance against the wider sector, but it’s far from being a compelling story. Like for like sales are down 0.2%, although clothing is the strongest performer, up 3%. Despite this, the company is confident that full year earnings will be in line with expectations.

It’s not all gloom in the retail sector however with a solid set of half year numbers being published by [LON:BOO] this morning. Revenues are up 43%, breaching £1billion over the last 12 months for the first time in the company’s history, whilst pre-tax profits have risen an impressive 83%. A series of brand acquisitions have helped bolster performance, qualifying the scalability of the company’s web platform. Guidance remains unchanged from the statement issued at the start of the month.

United Utilities

A trading update from United Utilities [LON:UU] is also published this morning, with the company on track to deliver against expectations for the first six months. The company is however making an additional £100m investment in a bid to improve performance, whilst debts are moving higher, too. The key point for the business however will be when the regulator determines exactly what it can charge customers for the next pricing cycle, which is due in December.

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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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