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Retailers in focus for trade updates

The ongoing supermarket price war will be in the spotlight this week, alongside figures from Barclays and telecoms giant BT.

Barclays is expected to reveal a fall in first quarter earnings tomorrow, two days ahead of a strategic update which may see the group take an axe to parts of its troubled investment banking arm. It comes after a recent warning from chief executive Antony Jenkins that a "small reduction" was expected in adjusted pre-tax profits.

BT will on Thursday publish its first set of annual results since the start of its Premier League television battle with Sky.

The telecoms giant began showing top-flight games last summer after snatching the rights to screen 38 games a season for three years, for £738 million, from under the noses of the satellite broadcaster.

Struggling Morrisons posts its first quarter trading update just days after firing the latest salvo in the supermarket industry's escalating price war. The country's fourth largest supermarket said it would cut prices on 1,200 products in a bid to win back customers lost to discount rivals such as Aldi and Lidl.

The move comes after it announced earlier this year that it slumped to a £176 million annual loss from £879 million the year before.

Sainsbury's outgoing chief executive Justin King's last set of full-year results will be watched closely for the supermarket's response to industry price cuts.

Analysts say they expect the firm to post pre-tax profits of £782 million on Wednesday, compared with underlying profits of £756 million a year ago.

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