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

JD Wetherspoon

There are half year numbers out from JD Wetherspoon [LON:JDW] this morning, but it takes a bit of work to dig through the armchair virology and actually find the number. Revenues more than halved for the 26 weeks to 24th January, although a dramatic fall in operating costs – which weren’t far off seeing a 50% decline against the comparative period – has certainly played a role in limiting losses. Details in terms of outlook appear limited, with a side-swipe at government policy rather than giving any meaningful detail as to how the company expects to manage through the recovery, dominating. Dividends remain suspended.

NatWest Group

NatWest Group [LON:NWG] has this morning announced that it completed the purchase of almost 600 million shares from the UK government. The price paid was the 190.5p seen at last night’s close and it takes the taxpayer’s stake in the bank down to just under 60%.

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Taylor Wimpey

Taylor Wimpey [LON:TW] has advised that the Competition and Markets Authority is moving to the next stage of formal consultation over the housebuilder’s strategy of doubling of leasehold payments every 10 years. Although TW abandoned this plan back in 2012, the sector as a whole will be following the progress closely. Given the significant government subsidies housebuilders have benefitted from since the financial crisis – and their inability to ramp up construction rates to have any meaningful impact on prices – this could well leave many in the sector exposed.

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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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