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Good morning.

Russia’s race to stave off a default on its debt has intensified as it scrambles to find a way around sanctions.

The country has been inching closer to default after Wall Street banks halted interest payments on two dollar bonds, forcing it to pay in roubles instead.

Yesterday, the Credit Derivatives Determinations Committee said the rouble payment was a potential default, fuelling fears Russia may have reneged on its debt defaults.

Moscow is now said to be exploring ways to reroute bond payments through domestic institutions, though it’s still not clear whether this will be successful.

5 things to start your day 

1) Rosneft scrambles to offload crude ahead of feared EU embargo  Russia’s top oil provider, Rosneft has invited bids on three 700,000-barrel cargoes

2) City firms deploy ‘red herring’ perks to stave off Great Resignation  Record vacancies are forcing employers to be inventive on benefits despite doubts over whether the work-life balance is really changing 

3) Slash speed limit by 10mph to beat Putin, says Sir Richard Branson  Billionaire calls for 60mph limit on motorways to ‘save lives’ by cutting energy use

4) Apple will automatically block children’s access to nude images sent to their iPhones  The new Apple feature will send a prompt to children before allowing them to view indecent images

5) Families will be forced to spend £34bn of lockdown savings on credit card bills  Households set to be significantly worse off as high prices push consumers into debt

What happened overnight 

Mainland China and Hong Kong stocks fell on Thursday, hurt by worries about the Chinese economy, but an overnight tumble in longer dated US treasury yields lent support to other benchmark indexes.

A 0.78pc drop for Hong Kong and 0.36pc decline for blue chips in mainland China pulled MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan 0.22pc lower.

But share benchmarks in Australia and Korea were up, while Japan’s Nikkei rose 0.81pc. Nasdaq futures gained 0.6pc and S&P500 futures advanced 0.4pc.

Coming up today

  • Corporate: Antofagasta, AJ Bell, Anglo American, Foxtons, Man Group, Meggitt, Polymetal International, Relx, Rentokil Initial, Segro (trading statements)
  • Economics: Inflation (EU), consumer confidence (EU), jobless claims (US), IMF meeting (US)

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