Mounting pressure

Today's news headlines: 

‘EU Braces for Possible Russian Retaliation on Gas’.
Yesterday, EU energy ministers discussed various supply-shock scenarios in preparation for any disruptions in obtaining Russian natural gas amid the risk that Moscow intervenes to halt shipments. The talks came after Western powers moved to exclude some Russian financial institutions from the SWIFT network. The attack on Ukraine has highlighted the EU’s dependence on Russian gas, forcing a rethink of national energy policies across the region. (Bloomberg)

‘Sunak Faces Fresh Pressure to Scrap Rise in U.K. Payroll Tax’. One of the UK’s biggest employer groups, Make UK, has called on the Chancellor to scrap April’s planned £12bn payroll tax, calling the move ‘illogical and ill-timed’. The Confederation of British Industry and Federation of Small Businesses have both warned that the hike risks stunting growth and worsening the cost-of-living crisis. Elsewhere, a survey by the Institute of Directors put rising energy costs and payroll taxes as the two top concerns for businesses. (Bloomberg)


Today

Risk appetite stabilised overnight as Asian stocks mostly rose, while Gold and the Bloomberg Dollar Index both fell. Brent Crude prices remained around the $100 a barrel mark as markets feared the disruption of Russian energy exports.

Events

China Caixin Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index: 50.4 vs 49.1 previously
Reserve Bank of Australia Cash Rate: 0.10% vs 0.10% previously
Canada Gross Domestic Product m/m: 1:30PM
US ISM Manufacturing PMI: 3:00PM
Monetary Policy Committee member Michael Saunders speaks: 6:30PM
MPC member Catherine Mann speaks: 7:00PM

Interbank rates:

GBP/USD – 1.3419
GBP/EUR – 1.1963
EUR/USD – 1.1218
USD/CAD – 1.2662

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