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


Despite political and economic uncertainty in recent months, Tesco [LON:TSCO] has served up a decent set of quarterly earnings today – at least as far as the UK & Ireland market is concerned. Like for like sales over the Christmas period were up 0.4%, which included the company’s biggest ever day of food sales in its history. The company states that it has outperformed the market as a whole despite the challenging backdrop, although across the wider company, the picture was less inspiring. Changes to central European operations and an exit from the mortgage market took a toll on these lines, leaving group revenue figures down on the same period a year ago.

Mitchells & Butlers

There’s a brief trading update out from Mitchells & Butlers [LON:MAB] this morning, covering the 14 weeks up to January 4th. This is split out helpfully into two 7-week blocks and the period covering Christmas has certainly been upbeat. Like for like sales over the quarter rose by 2.6%, with a significant weighting of that being in the festive period. Beyond this, details are scant, but the news does hint at both growth for the firm and an improvement in the economic outlook for consumers.

Galliford Try

Another brief trading update, this time from Galliford Try [LON:GFRD] the construction firm, following their disposal of Linden Homes. The company notes that it starts the calendar year with a high-quality order book and is also well capitalised, a figure which has been bolstered by the sale of the housebuilding arm. Beyond this, detail is light but political certainty over where the UK is heading in the near term can only be positive for businesses like this.

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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