Business

Russian planes face being grounded as UK shuts Kremlin out of insurance market

Good morning. 

The London Stock Exchange has rolled out a block on trading in 27 companies with close ties to Russia.

EN+, Gazprom, Lukoil, Rosneft and Sberbank are among the firms affected by the block, which comes into effect immediately.

London Stock Exchange Group said it was blocking trading in the companies “in light of market conditions, and in order to maintain orderly markets”.

On Monday the Deutsche Borse halted trading in 16 companies with links to Russia, while the New York Stock Exchange and Nasdaq have taken similar action.

5 things to start your day 

1) PR guru Roland Rudd cuts ties with Russian billionaire’s business  Spin doctor ditches Metalloinvest, owned by Alisher Usmanov 

2) £1.5bn profit lets Dyson to hire another 2,000 engineers  Appliance maker says 900 of the new jobs will be based in the UK 

3) Halfords to start selling secondhand bikes  Retailer to give rusting bicycles a makeover before reselling them as demand swells 

4) The assets Roman Abramovich could put under the hammer  Oligarch is said to be selling assets after ties to Putin makes him a potential target for sanctions

5) JCB, Burberry and Asos join widening corporate boycott of Russia  Corporate giants cut ties with Russia as the country becomes a pariah

What happened overnight 

 Oil prices sped higher on Thursday as the war in Ukraine drove a mad dash for resources in an ominous sign for global inflation, while Asian shares eked out gains after reassuring comments from the Federal Reserve helped Wall Street bounce.

Brent crude topped $117 per barrel and is now up almost 20pc on the week, while everything from coal to natural gas and aluminium are on fire as Western nations tighten sanctions on Russia.

The rush to commodities lifted resource-rich Australian stocks 0.9pc, while Indonesia was just off a record high.

Japan’s Nikkei managed a 0.8pc gain, while MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan nudged up 0.6pc.

MSCI added to Russia’s financial isolation by deciding to exile the country from its emerging markets index, while FTSE Russell said Russia would be removed from all its indices.

Fitch slashed Russia’s sovereign credit rating six notches to “junk” status, saying it was uncertain the country could service its debt, and Moody’s soon followed.

After bouncing overnight, S&P 500 stock futures were flat, while Nasdaq futures eased 0.1pc.

Coming up today

  • Corporate: Admiral Group, CRH, Elementis, Entain, ITV, London Stock Exchange Group, Meggitt, Melrose Industries, Mondi, Page Group, Rentokil Initial, Schroders, Spire Healthcare Group, Synthomer, Taylor Wimpey, Tyman, Vesuvius (full-year results)
  • Economics: Composite PMI (US, EU), services PMI (UK, US, EU, China), Nationwide house price index (UK), producer price index (EU), unemployment rate (EU), jobless claims (US), factory orders (US)

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