We have seen the first sign that Vladimir Putin is taking his threat to turn off the taps seriously.
Gazprom confirmed it had cut natural gas flows to Poland and Bulgaria because they had not paid in roubles, adding that supplies would be cut off until payment was made.
Gas prices in Europe jumped as much as 24% on fears the move could be a precursor for Putin to shut off taps to the rest of the continent.
Putin ordered so-called “unfriendly” countries to pay for the gas in rubles, but the EU resisted, saying such a move would violate sanctions.
5 things to start your day
1) Government urged to deal with £4.9billion of Covid loan fraud as bags of cash found at border Taxpayers face ‘stunning’ losses from Bounce Back scheme, but ministers ‘lack urgency’
2) The ranges of electric cars triple to close the gap on gasoline engines The average battery-powered car can go nearly 260 miles on a single charge
3) How Rishi Sunak staged the most punishing stealth tax raid in history As inflation pumps more money into Treasury coffers, Chancellor finds himself under pressure to help families
4) Left-leaning celebrities avoid Twitter after Elon Musk takeover Sadiq Khan and Amnesty International fear billionaire’s commitment to free speech could lead to ‘toxic Twitter’
5) Twitter staff are outraged at Elon Musk’s plans for the social media giant Employees worry as billionaire focuses on free speech amid allegations of anti-Tory bias
What happened overnight
Asian markets were back in negative territory on Wednesday after a rout on Wall Street. There was a slight rebound in early trade for Hong Kong and Shanghai following a report that Xi Jinping had pledged to increase infrastructure spending, while there were losses in Tokyo, Sydney , Seoul, Singapore, Wellington, Taipei, Manila and Jakarta.
- Business : GlaxoSmithKline, Go-Ahead Group, WH Smith (temporary); Aveva Group, Drax Group, Fresnillo, Lloyds Banking Group, London Stock Exchange Group, Metro Bank, Network International Holdings, Persimmon, WPP (commercial update)
- Economy: GfK Consumer Trust (All)waiting for house sales (WE)