Gas prices have pushed higher amid a clash between Ukraine and Russia that threatens to disrupt a third of the fuel supplies delivered to Europe.
Ukraine said flows via one of two key entry points will stop from today as occupying Russian troops interfere with operations. It’s declared a force majeure, meaning it’s unable to provide deliveries for reasons beyond its control.
The country’s network operator said these supplies – roughly a third of all Russia’s flows to Europe – could be rerouted. However, Gazprom insisted such a switch was “technically impossible”.
Benchmark European gas prices rose as much as 6.8pc at the open, while the UK equivalent was up 9pc.
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What happened overnight
Hong Kong equities opened slightly down on Wednesday, steadying after losses from Wall Street’s rout on fears of economic risks from surging inflation.
The Hang Seng Index dropped 0.6pc at open. The Shanghai Composite Index climbed 0.3pc, while the Shenzhen Composite Index on China’s second exchange rose 0.6pc.
Tokyo stocks also opened lower on Wednesday. The benchmark Nikkei 225 index was down 0.6pc, while the broader Topix index was off 0.5pc.
Coming up today
- Corporate: Brewin Dolphin, Compass Group, Tui (interims); Airtel Africa, ITV, Marshalls, Spirax-Sarco (trading statement)
- Economics: Consumer price index (US, China), economic growth forecasts (EU), RICS house price balance (UK)