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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.

5 things to start your day 

1) Klarna purchases will now affect customers’ credit scores  ‘Buy now, pay later’ transactions on the platform will be reported to credit agencies 

2) Energy companies accused of artificially increasing direct debits paid by millions of customers  Kwasi Kwarteng orders Ofgem to find firms which break the rules

3) TalkTV ratings sink as viewers tune out Piers Morgan  Rupert Murdoch’s broadcaster suffers 80pc audience drop for flagship show after Trump interview

4) Cazoo struggles to step up a gear as supply problems hold it back  The wheels may be coming off at the online vehicle retailer as share price slumps and progress slows

5) Airliners ‘stolen’ by Putin to cost plane leasing behemoth $304m  Aircraft leasing companies write down the value of aircraft in Russia as Kremlin puts jets out of reach of foreign owners

 

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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