Russia scrambles to avoid default as bond deadline slips – live updates

G.ood morning. Oil and gas price have pushed higher, ending days of declines, as flows of Russian gas to Germany show signs of slowing. Brent crude is up 2.7pc, while European gas is 7pc higher.

At noon today, we’ll get the latest rates decision from the Bank of England, which is expected to increase the cost of borrowing for the third meeting in a row.

Meanwhile, Chinese stocks are surging further, extending yesterday’s gains after trader were reassured by a pledge from Beijing that it supports market stability.

5 things to start your day

1) The dash for diesel as Britain ditches Russian energy Motor fuel is a sore spot for the UK in its reliance on Moscow for supplies

2) Michael Gove draws up legal loophole to help councils escape Gazprom contracts Officials hope plans will let councils walk away from Russian energy giant without huge exit fees

3) Church of England takes aim at companies with big Russian investments Church’s investment fund and pension board call on TotalEnergies to cut business ties

4) Russia on cusp of historic default after failing to pay $ 117m Finance minister says Moscow has the funds and “ball is in the court” of US authorities

5) Rail staff to be forced to work weekends in bid to boost train travel Unions vow to fight measures aimed at making bailed-out industry more efficient

What happened overnight

Asian markets rallied again on Thursday with another blistering surge in tech firms helping Hong Kong extend its recovery. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index rocketed more than 9pc and the city’s tech gauge flying by a record 22pc. Tokyo charged 3pc higher, while Shanghai, Sydney, Seoul, Manila and Wellington were all up more than 1pc, while there were also big gains for Singapore, Jakarta and Taipei.

Coming up today

  • Corporate: Cineworld, Endeavor Mining, FDM Group, Harbor Energy, Helios Towers, Marshalls, Premier Oil, Trainline (full-year results); Ocado (trading update)
  • Economics: Bank of England interest rate decision (UK)inflation (EU)building permits (US)housing starts (US)jobless claims (US)

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