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

Thomas Cook [LON:TCG]

Thomas Cook has made an announcement this morning over plans to refinance the company, in conjunction with major shareholder Fosun and its banks. As the Chief Executive notes, “this is not the outcome any of us wants for our shareholders” but the move – if agreed – would keep the business going through the winter period. In light of the news, the Q3 trading update which had been scheduled for next week has been suspended.

Hiscox [LON:HSX]

Specialist insurer Hiscox has published a six-month trading update this morning, noting the ongoing impact of catastrophes last year on the sector as a whole. Reserve releases in the first half of the year are expected to be materially lower than they were a year ago, although the company notes that market conditions are now improving. The progressive dividend policy that has been adopted is to be retained and there’s no anticipated impact to shareholder payouts.

Lookers [LON:LOOK]

Motor retailer and aftersales provider Lookers has published a half year trading update today. After a good start to the year, trading in the second quarter has become more challenging – this is a sector wide issue – and it’s forced the company to note that profits are likely to be diminished for the period. A figure of £32m against £43m for the same period in 2018 is being forecast and with no expectation that the market will change, full year figures are also being talked down.

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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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