Europe avoids Putin’s gas with US supply deal
The latest data showed a major miss for retail sales, which fell 0.3pc in February – well below forecast growth of 0.5pc.
Sales had rebounded strongly in January, but the impact faded as lockdown restrictions eased and consumers began to tighten the purse strings.
Separate data showed consumer confidence fell to -31 in March – the lowest since the second Covid lockdown in November 2020.
The outlook is only darkening, with soaring inflation, rising energy bills and higher taxes, all contributing to a cost of living crisis.
5 things to start your day
1) Boris Johnson tries to freeze Putin’s $140 billion in gold Western leaders seek to block one of the Kremlin’s last means of navigation to circumvent the West’s brutal economic sanctions
2) Soaring prices risk sparking riots across Britain, French bank warns According to BNP Paribas, the British economy is one of the most fragile in Europe
3) Apple considers paid iPhones The move would encourage users to update their phones more regularly
4) Woke Brigade critic Michael Grade named Ofcom chairman The former ITV and Channel 4 chief called the £159 fee a ‘regressive tax’
5) Oxford teenager among seven arrested for cyberhacks Lapse$ The group hit companies such as Microsoft and Nvidia, with one member said to be a teenager living with his parents
What happened overnight
Asian stocks were heading for a second straight week of gains on Friday, although trading was choppy amid hawkish U.S. monetary policy, shifts in Chinese economic policy and continued turmoil in commodity markets due to the war in Ukraine.
MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific stocks outside Japan traded flat, but was up 1% on the week.
Japan’s Nikkei was also little changed after closing the day before at a nine-week high.
Hong Kong shares held back the regional benchmark, falling 0.5%, weighed down by tech stocks, as dual-listed US and Hong Kong names were hit by renewed fears that a dispute over the audit records forces them to delist in the United States. States.
Australian shares rose 0.4pc helped by miners, while Chinese blue chips lost 0.4pc.
- Business : Blacksmiths (temp worker); United Public Services (commercial statement)
- Economy: Retail sales (UK); Ifo business climate index (Germany)