Chinese firms risk US sanctions as they snap up discounted Russian oil


Good morning.

Chinese companies appear to be sailing close to the wind by quietly snapping up Russian oil at steep discounts.

The country’s independent oil refineries have kept making deals with Russian oil suppliers since the war began but stopped reporting them, the Financial Times reports.

Publicly, the country’s state-owned energy firms have halted new contracts. But the purchases by independent refineries suggest China is finding alternative ways to access cheap oil while not attracting public scrutiny.

The move risks provoking US into introducing secondary sanctions to cut off revenue to the Kremlin. The US and UK have already banned Russian oil imports, while the EU is poised to introduce a gradual ban.

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What happened overnight 

Asian markets were mixed in holiday-thinned trade.

At around 2.30am GMT, the Hang Seng Index was down 0.8 per cent and the yen was down at 130.09.

The Nikkei 225 and Shanghai Composite were closed for holidays.

Coming up today

  • Corporate: Boohoo Group (full year); Aston Martin Lagonda (interims); Direct Line, Flutter Entertainment, JD Wetherspoon, OSB Group (trading statement)
  • Economics: Fed interest rate decision (US), composite PMI (US, EU), services PMI (US, EU), retail sales (EU), mortgage approvals (UK), ADP employment change (US)


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