China takes advantage as Putin slashes energy prices – live updates

Good morning.

China is spending record amount of money on Russian energy as it continues to expand its reliance on the Kremlin in the wake of the Ukraine war.

Beijing forked out a record $8.3bn (£7.3bn) last month on a haul that included a record amount of coal. In the six months since the start of the war, China has spent $44bn.

The figures highlight the changing relationship between Russia and the rest of the world, with Putin looking for alternative partners as the West shuns his exports.

While energy prices have surged since the invasion, China is still buying higher volumes, sometimes as a discounted price.

5 things to start your day 

1) FCA to hire experts on ‘growth and competitiveness’ as it gears up for ‘Big Bang 2.0’  Treasury is seeking candidates with expertise in using regulation to drive growth in the Square Mile

2) German and Italian industry will struggle to recover from loss of Russian gas, warns Barclays  Economists predict the eurozone will shrink, triggering a recession for the entire currency area 

3) How a bitter £11.3bn radio row turned into a 999 emergency  Motorola accused of undermining efforts to replace blue light services’ ageing Airwave network 

4) The new CNN chief trying to shake off channel’s post-Trump hangover  Chris Licht oversees sweeping changes as he battles to ‘sort the treasure from the trash’

5) Pint of milk now more expensive than petrol at these supermarkets  Dairy price increases are even outpacing forecourt fuel costs

What happened overnight 

Asian markets enjoyed a much-needed bounce on Tuesday, tracking Wall Street’s late rally. Hong Kong led the way, rising more than 1pc, with Sydney not far behind. Tokyo returned from a long weekend to post healthy gains, while Seoul, Singapore, Taipei, Manila, Wellington and Jakarta were also higher.

Coming up today

  • Economics: Interest rate decision (China), housing starts (US), building permits (US)
  • Corporate: City of London Investment Trust, Frasers (full-year results); Haleon, Kingfisher (interims); Moonpig, TUI (trading update)

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