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

1. Challenging market, outlook upgraded

Digital lifestyle brand (LON:MADE) has published a trading update this morning, noting that the company expects to achieve a significant outperformance against the online furniture market. For the year to date, the wider sector has seen sales drop by between 30% and 40%, whereas MADE notes gross sales declined by a mere 10%. The company is upgrading expectations for the full year despite the fact the market is set to remain somewhat challenging. This note does however serve to underline the challenging trading conditions which exist and this in turn may prove unsettling for investors.

2. Greggs: Cost pressures mount for high street baker

Another trading update, this time from Greggs (LON:GRG), which notes a 27.4% uptick in life for like sales over the first 19 weeks of the year, a number which the company notes is flattered by high streets having reopened in turn increasing footfall. The company notes that this will now start to normalise, whilst they also face the dual challenges of rising cost inflation and disposable income being squeezed. The company’s value proposition could however serve to provide some support here.

3. National Express pushes for Stagecoach merger

National Express (LON:NEX) has this morning issued an update regarding its proposed all share merger with Stagecoach. The deal has been complicated by a competing offer for Stagecoach from a German asset manager, but management are keen to stress that a tie up between the two British companies provides a superior deal for investors. They also note that in a period when private equity investors have been on something of a buying spree, this merger presents a rare example of two UK listed companies combining to form a global industry leader.


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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