Good morning. 

There’s still no end in sight for the spiralling energy crisis as oil prices continue their relentless rally.

Benchmark Brent crude has soared above $111 a barrel – an increase of more than $10 since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine less than a week ago. West Texas Intermediate also surpassed $110. That’s its highest level since 2013.

The US and other major consumer nations have agreed to release 60m barrels from their stockpiles, but this has failed to tame the rally. The International Energy Agency last night warned the situation in energy markets was “very serious” and that global energy security was under threat.

All eyes will be on producer cartel Opec ahead of its meeting today. However, only a modest increase in supply is expected despite the turmoil ripping through markets.

5 things to start your day 

1) Athlone House, Mikhail Fridman’s monument to the power of Russian oligarchs  Wealthy Russians living in London face growing scrutiny for their presence in the capital’s luxury property market 

2) Taxpayer-backed OneWeb uses Russian rockets for satellite launch  MP urges ministers to intervene over broadband company’s plan to keep launching from Kazakhstan

3) Apple stops selling its products in Russia  Move comes after Ukraine’s deputy prime minister last week called on Tim Cook to take action 

4) Taxpayers on the hook for Russia-linked loan losses  British Business Bank working on resolving “small number” of government-backed investments exposed to war

5) Russian banking system ‘on the brink’ amid dash for cash  Experts warn banks will struggle to stay afloat following markets freefall

What happened overnight 

Wall Street and European markets tumbled on Tuesday and the losses largely flowed through to Asia, which had enjoyed two days of relative calm though the selling was not as severe. Tokyo led losses, falling 1.9pc, while Hong Kong, Shanghai, Singapore, Taipei, Manila and Wellington also dropped. However, Sydney, Seoul, Jakarta and Bangkok eked out marginal gains.

Coming up today

  • Corporate: Ascential, Aviva, Coats Group, Hiscox, Persimmon, Polymetal International, Vistry, Vivo Energy, Weir Group (full-year results); Chemring Group (trading update)
  • Economics: BRC shop price index (UK), Budget report (UK), inflation (EU), employment change (US), Fed’s Beige Book (US)


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