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

Lloyds Banking Group

Lloyds Banking Group [LON:LLOY] has published a note this morning regarding the volume of PPI complaints it received as the claims window drew to a close. With the number of requests for information increasing three to four-fold during August, the company is now earmarking a further £1.2bn to £1.8bn for the settlement of claims, with the number set to be reported in the Q3 earnings. This is expected to impact the company’s capital accrual plans and it has also suspended share buybacks for the remained of the year.

Associated British Foods

There’s a fairly detailed pre-close trading update from Associated British Foods [LON:ABF] out this morning, highlighting that a strong performance from Primark and its Grocery division should offset any slowdown from AB Sugar. A significant uptick in operating margins at Primark is perhaps the most eye catching, with currency tailwinds helping here, whilst expansion plans for the fashion brand right across Europe next year have the potential to continue driving growth.

Eddie Stobart Logistics

The haulier Eddie Stobart Logistics [LON:ESL] has this morning confirmed media speculation that a approach has been made for the business. The notification gives little away other than the fact the suitor is DBAY Advisors Ltd and under takeover code rules, they have until October 7th to make a firm offer for the business. One to watch.

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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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