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

Smith & Nephew

It’s a busy day for blue chips reporting, so starting with Smith & Nephew [LON:SN], the medical technology business has a Q3 trading statement out today. Business was hit hard earlier in the year as hospitals side-lined elective procedures to cleat beds for COVID patients. Something of a recovery has been seen, with sales just 3.7% lower than the same period a year earlier and the US being the best performing territory. Whilst the company is positive about the business model and medium term outlook, visibility in the shorter term remains difficult given the scope for fresh COVID restrictions to impact sales.

BT Group

Half year numbers are out from BT Group [LON:BT.A] this morning and top line figures don’t look great. Revenues are off 8% with the company citing a fall in BT Sports sales as a key driver here. Customers worried by the economic fall out of COVID-19 are looking to save cash and products like this are clearly seen as far from essential. The company has however made a series of efficiency gains during the year, which has given them confidence to raise the lower range of the EBITDA forecast. Right now however with pre-tax profits down by 20% and that revenue dip being bigger than expected, investors may struggle to find much confidence.

Lloyds Banking Group

Some positive news from Lloyds Bank [LON:LLOY] which published Q3 numbers today. After unexpected losses in the first half of the year, the jump back to profitability is likely to be well received, whilst bad debt provisions are also being scaled back. There’s still uncertainty over the short term but the bank believes it is well positioned to deliver long term returns given its efficiencies and strong balance sheet.

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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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