Euro hits 20-year low and gas prices surge as Putin turns off the taps

Good morning.

We start the week with another surge in gas prices after Putin cut off supplies through the crucial Nord Stream pipeline.

The gas link was due to restart on Saturday after three days of planned maintenance. But Gazprom made a last-minute decision on Friday not to restart supplies, blaming an oil leak.

EU leaders had been bracing for such an outcome as Putin continues to use energy supplies as a weapon.

The bloc is now rushing to roll out emergency measures to prevent blackouts and rationing this winter as the energy crisis threatens to push the region into recession.

5 things to start your day 

1) Cut red tape on fracking to secure energy security, Liz Truss urged – She is expected to lift the ban on drilling ‘within days’ of becoming prime minister

2) Truss confirms belief in Bank of England independence – The Foreign Secretary says it would be “completely wrong” for her to dictate the path of interest rates

3) Virgin Money staff to display pronouns on name badges  It follows moves by other banks NatWest, HSBC and Halifax 

4) Matalan searches for a buyer as brutal high street conditions take their toll – The founding family has hoisted a “for sale” sign over the discount retail chain, as it grapples with the bruising conditions on the high street.

5) Britain’s pubs confront a bleak winter as energy costs spiral – For many pub landlords, there is little they can do to try to keep their heads above water

What happened overnight 

Asian shares slipped this morning while the euro took a fresh spill after Russia shut a major gas pipeline to Europe.

Markets face more uncertainty from US-China tension – the Biden administration is considering moves to curb US investment in Chinese technology firms and will allow Trump-era merchandise import tariffs to continue while the levies are reviewed.

News of more coronavirus lockdowns in China added to the jittery mood, with blue chips down 0.6pc. MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan eased 0.1pc, and Japan’s Nikkei was off 0.3pc.

Coming up

Corporate: Dechra Pharmaceuticals (full-year results)

Economics: Composite PMI (UK, EU), services PMI (UK, EU, China), retail sales (UK, EU)

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