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


Ryanair [LON:RYA] has produced an update today looking at its expected Q1 performance in light of the COVID-19 crisis. Passenger figures are expected to be 99.5% lower than had been expected, although there seems to be confidence that the recovery will be swift. Suggestions are that for the full year to March 2021, passenger numbers will be down by just over one third, but the company then goes on to state that demand won’t recover fully until 2022 and the generous levels of state aid paid out to many other European carriers will unfairly distort the market. With job losses and plans to slow new aircraft deliveries too, Ryanair is expecting turbulent times ahead.

Barratt Developments

Housebuilder Barratt [LON:BDEV] has issued a COVID-19 update this morning, noting that having suspended all its building operations by the end of March, sites are now looking to come on stream from mid-May. This will be a phased restart and the business acknowledges that new reservations will continue at a subdued level, although sales for the financial year to date have been strong. The company is well financed and has undertaken a series of cash conservation initiatives, but questions have to linger over consumer demand as the recovery begins.

Royal Bank of Scotland

Royal Bank of Scotland [LON:RBS] has published a Q1 update, with profits being hit by COVID-19 provisions but still beating analyst expectations.  As noted at the start of the month, dividends and share buybacks have been suspended. The Return on Tangible Equity (RoTE) figure has however slumped to 3.6% for the quarter, down from 8.3% a year ago and well below the 17.7% seen during Q4.

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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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