Good morning. EU countries will meet today to find new measures to shield households from soaring energy bills as the region heads for recession.
Energy ministers in the bloc will discuss a menu of options drawn up by European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen to stave off a crisis, including a price cap on Russian gas, efforts to cut demand and a windfall tax on power generators.
The price cap proposal has stoked divisions in the bloc as some members raise doubts over whether it can reduce prices after Russia cut supplies to the region.
Five things to start your day
1) Truss rips up oil and gas red tape in drive to energy independence Fracking and North Sea drilling back on the agenda in push to make UK energy independent by 2040.
2) Public could be urged to turn down thermostats to avoid energy shortages Jacob Rees-Mogg understood to support campaign to tell households how to reduce their boiler’s flow temperature.
3) Kwasi Kwarteng sacks most senior civil servant in the Treasury Sir Tom Scholar, the Treasury permanent secretary, told by the new Chancellor that he was no longer wanted in the job.
4) ‘Our energy bill has risen by over 300pc’ Business owners say six-month energy bill freeze is not enough, calling for long-term support.
5) Kate Andrews: Ed Miliband’s windfall tax would be a disaster to rival the price cap
What happened overnight
Hong Kong stocks edged up in the first few minutes of business on Friday, following an advance on Wall Street as traders prepare for further central bank interest rate hikes.
The Hang Seng Index rose 0.21 per cent, or 39.03 points, to 18,893.65. The Shanghai Composite Index gained 0.17 per cent, or 5.59 points to 3,241.18, while the Shenzhen Composite Index on China’s second exchange added 0.22 per cent, or 4.61 points to 2,109.00.
US shares ended with modest gains, recovering from early losses after the ECB’s rate hike announcement and comments from US Fed chief Jerome Powell that the American central bank must continue to act “strongly” to cool demand and contain price pressures.
The dollar fetched 143.78 yen in early Asia trade, against 144.27 yen in New York late on Thursday. Among major shares, Toyota was up 0.41 per cent at 2,089 yen, Olympus was up 0.84 per cent at 3,122 yen, and Uniqlo operator Fast Retailing was up 1.09 per cent at 84,020 yen.
Coming up today
Corporate: Computacenter (interim results)
Economics: inflation (China), consumer inflation expectations (UK)