Russian energy imports are back in focus this morning after France called on other European countries to back new sanctions.
Bruno Le Maire, France’s finance minister, said it was necessary “more than ever” to implement a ban on Russian oil, cutting off a key source of revenue for the Kremlin.
While the US and UK have already announced their intention to phase out Russian oil, the EU has been more reluctant to act. The continent is heavily dependent on Russian energy and the biggest economy, Germany, has resisted further sanctions.
This comes as the war enters its second phase. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has warned that Russia is having its assault on the eastern region of Donbass.
5 things to start your day
1) Security fears leave P&O Ferries facing a ‘very high’ insurance bill. The company’s safety performance is expected to be rated “very poor”, according to analysis by an official international inspection database.
2) Rolls-Royce backs ‘new Hawk’ fighter trainer. British-designed Aeralis aims to have a demonstrator ready by 2025.
3) Tesla forces Shanghai workers to sleep on the floor. Elon Musk’s Chinese factory is using a ‘closed loop’ system to restart production under a strict Covid lockdown.
4) Zero-Covid lockdowns weigh heavily on the Chinese economy. Retail sales fell 3.5% last month in the first fall in nearly two years, as the IMF warns that exploding debt threatens the global recovery.
5) Deloitte benefits from government contracts while KPMG stays away. Rival’s withdrawal from public sector work helps the consultant secure a £53m salary.
What happened overnight
Earlier in the Asian trading day, the S&P 500 e-minis rose 2%, while MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific stocks outside Japan fell 0.5%.
Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 rose 0.66pc as strength in commodity prices lifted mining and energy stocks, and Japan’s Nikkei rose 0.18pc.
Business: JTC (annual results); Kainos Group, Petropavlovsk (commercial declarations)
Economy: Housing starts, building permits (WE)