With European stock markets closed, here is a recap of today’s key events.
germany Chancellor, Olaf Scholz, has rebuffed calls to ban imports of Russian oil and gas as part of Western sanctions against Moscow following its invasion of Ukraine.
Scholz warned that such a move could jeopardize Europe’s energy security and that energy imports from Russia were currently essential to people’s daily lives.
Scholz’s statement came after US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on Sunday that the United States was discussing with its European allies a ban on Russian oil imports.
Blinken’s comments sparked a dramatic spike in oil prices overnight, with Brent crude rising 18% at one point to $139 a barrel, the highest in 14 years.
It has since retreated but is still around $125 a barrel, down from under $80 at the start of this year.
The price of wholesale gas also jumped alarmingly today, with the UK delivery contract next month reaching a record 800p per therm, compared to typical prices below 50p/therm a year ago.
Gas prices closed around 10% higher tonight around 500p, a level that would intensify the cost of living crisis gripping households and businesses.
European stock markets racked up further losses as the war in Ukraine continued to drag stock prices down. The German DAX fell another 2%, ending in a bear market – more than 20% below its January high.
In London, the FTSE 100 fell another 0.4% as oil producers and miners rallied, but banks, tour operators, retailers and makers of consumer goods are all under renewed pressure.
Companies continued to cut ties with Russia. The Big Four UK accountancy firms have now closed in Russia and Belarus, with EY and Deloitte joining KPMG and PwC to legally separate their operations.
Conservative peer Greg Barker has resigned as chairman of EN+, the mining company partly owned by sanctioned Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska.
Three other Russian billionaires have quit the board of the $22bn (£17bn) investment firm LetterOne after the EU imposed sanctions on its two largest shareholders.
Here are some more stories from today:
We will be back tomorrow. Good evening, GW.