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

Persimmon [LON:PSN]

There’s a trading update from housebuilder Persimmon out this morning, which may leave investors wondering if – despite government ambitions – we’re now at peak housebuilding. Completions have fallen from 8,072 a year ago to 7,584 for the same period this year, whilst average selling prices are up by less than 0.5%, too. The company has however noted a strategic shift in the timing of bringing some properties to market which will have a one-off effect. They say this is now delivering the anticipated results so a degree of patience may be warranted.

MJ Gleeson [LON:GLE]

Sticking with housebuilders, MJ Gleeson also published a trading update. The company is a fraction of the size of bigger rivals, but managed to see a 25% increase in completions for the year ending 30th June. Management believe expansion can continue, with a target of 2,000 completions per year by 2022. Full year results due in mid-September are expected to be comfortably in line with expectations.

3i Group [LON:III]

A Q1 update from 3i is out this morning, noting that the company’s investment portfolio continues to operate in line with expectations. Dividends for the full year are expected to be in line with forecasts. The business remains well positioned to make further acquisitions with a cash balance of £53.1m, an undrawn revolving credit facility of over £280m and the ability to tap a further £200m if required. The note does add however that of the cash pile, some £35.1m will be paid out as dividend next week.

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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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