Good morning. 

A top EU officials has proposed that the bloc should seize $300bn of frozen Russian foreign exchange reserves to help fund the reconstruction of Ukraine.

The West has taken control of around half of Putin’s $600bn of gold and forex reserves, and officials are now considering how these could be used to support Ukraine’s recovery.

The seizure of foreign exchange reserves would be a dramatic move, but EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell pointed to the US decision to set aside $3.5bn of the Afghan central bank’s assets to pay for humanitarian aid and compensation for victims of the 9/11 attacks.

He told the Financial Times: “I would be very much in favour because it is full of logic. We have the money in our pockets, and someone has to explain to me why it is good for the Afghan money and not good for the Russian money.”

5 things to start your day 

1) Bond tremors hit Italy as eurozone risk returns with a vengeance Italian political risk is back on the table, just as the ECB debt shield disappears

2) Bank of England staff in the office just one day a week Staff spend the majority of the week working from home despite ministers urging workers to go back to the office

3) Overhaul ‘outdated’ laws and allow insects to be fed to pigs and chickens, Tesco boss says Plus: From insect feed to vertical farms – we need a bonfire of red tape to deliver the food of the future

4) Morrisons gatecrashes Issa brothers’ bid for McColl’s The supermarket has launched a last-gasp attempt to wrest the convenience store chain from the clutches of Asda’s owners

5) ‘Save less and borrow more’ to avoid recession, economists say Rampant inflation and growing uncertainty mean experts have slashed their forecasts for household consumption

What happened overnight 

Tokyo stocks opened lower on Monday, tracking US falls on investor concern over higher interest rates, with focus shifting to Japanese corporate earnings.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 index was down 1.12pc, or 302.68 points, at 26,700.88 in early trade, while the broader Topix index dropped 0.79pc, or 15.12 points, to 1,900.79.

While mainland Chinese stocks dropped at the open over global inflation worries and the toll of Beijing’s Covid lockdown policies.

The Shanghai Composite Index fell 0.16pc, or 4.89 points, to 2,996.67 in early trade, while the Shenzhen Composite Index on China’s second exchange dropped 0.04pc, or 0.68 points, to 1,858.71.

Coming up today

Corporate: HG Capital Trust, Victrex (interim results)


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