Putin asks Ukraine to weaken its defenses to solve the global food crisis

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We start the day with more gloomy data on how the cost of living crisis is affecting households.

Retail sales fell 1.1% in May, according to the British Retail Consortium, as soaring energy and food bills left Britons with less disposable income.

ONS figures showed households had saved an average of almost £7,000 after the Covid hit, but those who could save money are no longer willing to spend it.

In a further sign of the squeeze on wallets, data from Barclaycard showed spending on utilities jumped by more than a third, with grocery and transport costs also rising.

5 things to start your day

1) ‘National fuel crisis’ as electric car ownership rises It now costs almost £98 to fill a tank of petrol and nearly £102 to fill a tank of diesel, with crude prices continuing to climb as Russia attacks Ukraine and triggers contingency planning in fuel shortage in Ireland.

2) Pound climbs as Boris Johnson suffers major rebellion The value of the pound rose as markets bet that last night’s substantial rebellion against Boris Johnson could end up watering down UK policy on Brexit in Northern Ireland, easing fears of a trade war by the EU.

3) Chinese chip company boss charged with espionage, stealing trade secrets ASML, the Dutch company whose equipment is used to make advanced semiconductor circuits, said Zongchang Yu, a former employee, transferred trade secrets to Dongfang Jingyuan Electron.

4) Households rack up £7,000 in Covid savings as prices soar Families have saved nearly £7,000 since Covid hit, mainly due to lockdowns when they were unable to spend money on pubs, restaurants, ‘non-essential’ shops, travel and vacations.

5) BlackRock Won’t Be ‘Environmental Police’ in Ethical Investing U-turn Larry Fink, head of the world’s largest fund manager, said it was wrong to ask the private sector to make sure the companies they invest in are doing their part to fight climate change.

What happened overnight

Hong Kong shares opened slightly lower this morning after a strong rise the previous day. The Hang Seng index slipped 0.4pc.

The Shanghai Composite Index was flat, while the Shenzhen Composite Index on China’s second-largest stock exchange also barely moved.

Tokyo shares opened higher as the yen fell. The benchmark Nikkei 225 added 0.2pc.

coming today

  • Company : No scheduled updates
  • Economy: Retail, PMI Services (UK); Factory orders (Germany); Consumer credit (WE)

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