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

Page Group

Half year numbers have been published by recruitment specialists Page Group [LON:PAGE] this morning. Operating profits are up 11.4% as productivity increased and the number of fee earning staff fell slightly. Shareholders are being rewarded not only with an increased interim dividend, but also a special dividend, too. That reduction in fee earning staff may be seen as a red flag by some as it reflects the worsening global macroeconomic outlook, although the company is continuing to grow teams where the underlying market can support this.

Standard Life Aberdeen

The half year update from Standard Life Aberdeen [LON:SLA] has been published today, showing the company making good progress in terms of reshaping its business. Clearly a strong underlying market will have helped with the numbers but the company reports assets under administration up 5%, net outflows down and 65% of its asset managers performing above the benchmark, up from 50% for the whole of last year. This is a lengthy report, split over four separate statements, but the company appears convinced that the outlook is sustainable.

Legal & General

H1 numbers from Legal & General [LON:LGEN] are also out this morning, showing operating profits up 11% and a 7% increase in the interim dividend. The company remains committed to its mission over inclusive capitalism and having de-risked its UK holdings, especially with regard to sub-investment grade debt, believes that it is well placed to ride out Brexit uncertainty as the story unfolds. Again, this is a lengthy three part report and we’re only able to look at the very top line of numbers here.

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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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