Russia to blame for energy crisis sweeping Europe, declares IEA

Good morning. 

We kick off the day with some gloomy comments from the parent company behind Britain’s biggest energy supplier.

Chris O’Shea, chief executive of British Gas owner Centrica, warned the current spike in energy crisis was likely to last as long as two years.

He said hopes that soaring prices – which are expected to lead to energy bills jumping 50pc to £2,000 – would be short-lived may be misplaced.

He told the BBC there was no reason to believe prices would come down “any time soon”.

5 things to start your day 

1) Inflation to hit almost 7pc, warns Goldman Sachs  Bank argues price rises in the eurozone have already peaked but problem in Britain will require several interest rate rises to tackle

2) Partners at Alan Howard’s hedge fund share £120m pandemic bounty  Brevan Howard Asset Management enjoys profit surge after betting on right investments

3) Time to live with Covid and treat virus like the common cold, says Wellcome  Britain’s biggest independent funder of medical research says restrictions can no longer be economically justified

4) Architect of Boots takeover mulls new bid for chemist chain  CVC Capital and Bain Capital consider multi-billion pound joint offer

5) Commuters must wait another six months to spend a penny on South Western trains  Operator leaves some passengers without access to toilets as it delays new carriages

What happened overnight 

Asian equities rallied on Wednesday following a strong performance on Wall Street as Federal Reserve chief Jerome Powell said he was determined to rein in runaway inflation. Hong Kong, Tokyo, Seoul and Manila were all up more than 1pc. Shanghai, Sydney, Singapore, Taipei and Jakarta also rose.

Coming up today

  • Corporate: J Sainsbury, JD Sports, Vistry, Whitbread, Page Group, Grafton Group, Just Eat Takeaway, Ferrexpo, Topps Tiles, DFS (Trading update)
  • Economics: Consumer price index (US, China), producer price index (China), industrial production (EU), monthly budget statement (US)

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