Gas prices soar 40pc as Russian invasion rattles energy markets

Good morning.

Oil has finally broken past the $100 milestone after Russia launched a full-scale invasion of Ukraine.

There are reports of multiple attacks in major cities including Kyiv after President Vladimir Putin announced a “special military operation”, igniting what could be the largest conflict in Europe since the Second World War.

Benchmark Brent crude leapt 5.5pc to above $102 a barrel – its highest since 2014.

There was turmoil in wider markets, too. Market benchmarks in Tokyo and Seoul fell 2pc and Hong Kong and Sydney lost more than 3pc.

5 things to start your day 

1) Ikea opens first city centre store in £1bn London expansion  Ikea’s first small shop is a quarter of the size of a traditional store 

2) Second Chernobyl: eastern Ukraine threatened with radioactive disaster  Satellite images spark fears of contaminated water spilling into rivers in Donbas’s old coal mines 

3) Genetically altered crops to be ‘big Brexit ticket winner’ for farmers  Farmers say the crops revolution will lead to growing more nutritious food 

4) SFO opens criminal probe into collapse of Arena Television  Television company that worked on Glastonbury and Euro 2020 accused of £280m fraud

5) Sales slump at maternity brand worn by Duchess of Cambridge  Seraphine blames rising costs rather than falling birth rate as it is forced to close New York store

What happened overnight 

Asian stock markets plunged and oil prices surged on Thursday after President Vladimir Putin announced Russian military action in Ukraine. Market benchmarks in Tokyo and Seoul fell 2pc and Hong Kong and Sydney lost more than 3pc. 

Coming up today

  • Corporate: Anglo American, BAE Systems, Centrica, Derwent London, Drax Group, Grafton, Hikma Pharmaceuticals, Howden Joinery, Inchcape, Lloyds Banking Group, Morgan Sindall, Rathbones Group, Rolls Royce, Serco, Spectris, St James’s Place, WPP (full-year results); Genus, Hays, Pantheon International (interims)
  • Economics: Consumer confidence (UK, EU), Chicago Fed National Activity Index (US), jobless claims (US), new home sales (US), business climate (EU)