European oil sites hit by cyber attacks

Good morning. 

Details are starting to come through about a spate of cyber attacks targeting European oil companies this week.

Two German fuel storage firms – Mabanfaft and Oiltanking – were crippled by a ransomware software known as Black Cat. The hackers are thought to have links to the Russian group that attacked the Colonial Pipeline in the US last year, sparking shortages and panic buying.

There were other IT issues at sites across Malta, Belgium and the Netherlands this week, though it’s unclear if these are linked to the German attacks.

It comes amid heightened tensions over a potential conflict between Russia and Ukraine. Any conflict or sanctions could threaten oil supply to Europe.

5 things to start your day 

1) Tax raids and rebates: why Rishi Sunak is ‘taking with one hand and giving with the other’  The gulf between the Chancellor’s small-state rhetoric and his actions grows wider by the day

2) Amazon lifts price of Prime subscriptions as profits beat forecasts  The change, which will not apply in the UK, reflects growing costs of logistics operations 

3) Facebook set for biggest one-day fall in history as shares plunge over 26pc  More than $230bn wiped off the value of Meta, making stock market history 

4) Brexit has made Britain’s inflation problem worse, says Christine Lagarde  President of the European Central Bank says a shortage of non-UK labour is having a bearing on Britain’s economy

5) Lord Tebbit’s son makes millions selling slice of his green fuel company to BP  William Tebbit sells 30pc stake in Green Biofuels as oil giant expands its renewable energy portfolio

What happened overnight 

Asian shares were mostly higher on Friday after a historic plunge in the stock price of Facebook’s parent company helped yank other tech stocks lower on Wall Street.

Hong Kong jumped 2.6pc after reopening from Lunar New Year holidays. Shanghai remained closed. Tokyo and Seoul advanced while Sydney was lower. Other regional markets were higher.

Trading has been muted this week, with Chinese markets closed and coronavirus cases still surging in Asia, especially in Japan and Hong Kong.

Coming up today

  • Corporate: Airtel Africa (interim results); SSP Group (trading update)
  • Economics: Construction PMI (UK); retail sales (EU); non-farm payrolls (US)