Europe energy crisis gas prices UK Norway strikes Russia – Christopher Furlong/Getty Images

  • City banks defy Brussels to out-earn French rivals

  • PM urged to back bid for factory at heart of Britain’s food supply

  • FTSE 100 rises 1pc 

  • Lucy Burton: Big Tech’s hedonistic get-rich party is over, and Gen Z knows it

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Gas supplies are facing a fresh threat as planned strikes in Britain’s biggest supplier of the fuel compound Moscow’s pipeline cuts.

Norway’s oil and gas lobby warned around 13pc of the country’s daily gas exports are at risk from plans to escalate an impending strike by managers.

Three fields are set to be shut by the strike starting tomorrow, while planned action the following day would take out another three projects.

The move will add to fears that Europe may not have enough gas to fill storage sites in time for winter.

Putin has slashed shipments to the continent through the Nord Stream pipeline, while a major fire at a key export facility in the US has also hit deliveries.

09:44 AMECB to block banks from interest rate windfall

The European Central Bank is exploring ways to prevent banks from earning billions of euros of extra profit once it starts raising interest rates later this month.

The ECB provided $2.2 trillion of subsidised loans to banks to help avert a credit crunch when the pandemic hit. But the planned increase in rates is expected to provide extra earnings worth up to $24bn for eurozone lenders.

The ECB’s governing council will discuss how it can block this windfall that hundreds of banks will be able to earn by simply placing the loans back on deposit at the central bank, the Financial Times reports.

09:32 AMPub numbers crash to lowest on recordPub closures UK – Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire

The number of pubs in England and Wales has crashed to the lowest level ever recorded.

There were just 39,970 pubs in June, a fall of more than 7,000 since 2012, according to real estate consultancy Altus Group.

Thousands of pubs have shuttered over the last decade as they battled with increased competition from supermarkets and higher tax burdens.

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In 2019 the sector expanded for the first time in a decade, suggesting pubs could be back on the rise.

But the pandemic put paid to that progress, while Altus warned boozers were now grappling with soaring prices and energy bills.

According to the research, the West Midlands saw the biggest number of pub closures in the first six months of 2022, with 28 shutting.

It was followed by London and the East of England which both lost 24.

09:14 AMTurkish inflation soars to nearly 80pc

Inflation in Turkey surged to its highest since 1998 last month as President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s policies worsen the country’s economic crisis.

Annual inflation rose to 78.6pc, with consume prices rising 4.95pc on a monthly basis.

While many countries are suffering from surging inflation, critics say Erdogan’s approach is exacerbating the problem.

The Turkish leader insists that high borrowing costs cause inflation – a position that contradicts established economic thinking – and instead advocates lowering interest rates to boost growth and exports.

Turkey’s central bank had cut rates by 5 percentage points since September to 14pc before pausing the cuts in January. The Turkish lira lost 44pc of its value against the dollar last year.

09:02 AMPret a Manger swings back to profitPret a Manger profit – REUTERS/Phil Noble//File Photo

Pret a Manger returned to profitability in March after suffering another year of hefty losses in 2021 amid lockdowns and Covid restrictions.

The group revealed it remained in the red with operating losses of £225.9m last year.

However, this was an improvement on the £343m loss seen in 2020 at the height of the pandemic, thanks to a 17pc rise in revenues to £461.5m as restrictions lifted and workers returned to offices.

The coffee chain said its recovery has “continued and accelerated” in 2022, with half-year revenues up 230pc to £357.8m, helping it return to profitability in March and becoming cash flow positive since May.

The figures come ahead of the launch of Pret’s new affordable menu range later this week in response to the cost-of-living crisis.

The firm said its recovery came as it boosted its presence outside London – where trade was hit particularly hard by the switch to working from home – with sales growth faster outside the capital.

08:37 AMFTSE risers and fallers

The FTSE 100 has staged a strong start to the day as markets regained some composure after a torrid first half of the year.

The blue-chip index rose 1pc, boosted by oil stocks as crude prices pushed higher amid supply concerns.

BP and Shell rose 3.6pc and 2.9pc respectively, providing the biggest boost to the index. Harbour Energy was the biggest riser, up over 4pc.

The FTSE 250 inched up 0.1pc. Grafton Group was the biggest laggard, shedding 6.5pc after the building materials supplier announced the departure of its chief executive.

08:33 AMGermany posts first monthly trade deficit since 1991

Germany has reported its first monthly trade deficit in three decades after exports fell unexpectedly in May.

The shortfall of €1bn (£860m) was the first since 1991, with cross-border sales declining 0.5pc. At the same time, imports rose 2.7pc – much more than anticipated.

The figures highlight the disruption sparked by Russia’s war in Ukraine and China’s continued Covid lockdowns.

Germany’s economy – the largest in Europe – is heavily focused on exports.

08:21 AMBudget airlines enjoy passenger boost

Ryanair and Wizz Air have both reported a jump in passenger numbers in June as holidaymakers flocked back to travel despite widespread chaos.

Ryanair said the number of passengers it carried tripled to 15.9m compared to last year, while its load factor increased to 95pc.

Meanwhile, Wizz Air carried 4.3m passengers last month – up 180pc year on year.

The numbers come in spite of weeks of travel chaos at airports, with many airlines forced to slash flights due to staff shortages.

08:16 AMRush hour chaos as fuel price protests block motorwaysFuel price protest – Tom Wren, SWNS

Drivers are facing more chaos during this morning’s rush hour as campaigners blocked motorways in a protest over soaring fuel prices.

Protesters created a rolling blockade along the M4, heading towards the Prince of Wales bridge. Similar demonstrations are also expected in Yorkshire and Essex.

Police warned of “serious disruption throughout the day”, with motorists urged to stay at home where possible.

It comes amid growing discontent about the surging cost of petrol and diesel on petrol station forecourts, which has been driven higher by Russia’s war in Ukraine.

But motoring groups have complained that pump prices have remained high even after wholesale costs began to fall back.

Howard Cox, founder of the FairFuelUK Campaign, said:

These are not just demonstrations against the record excruciatingly high petrol and diesel prices that rise each and every day.

They are also about the sickening chronic manipulation of pump prices and the complete lack of scrutiny by our out of touch Government, in allowing unchecked petrol and diesel profiteering to run rife.

This content is not available due to your privacy preferences.Update your settings here to see it.08:02 AMFTSE 100 opens higher

The FTSE 100 has pushed higher at the open, providing some much-needed relief to stocks after last week’s sell-off.

The blue-chip index rose 0.9pc to 7,231 points.

07:53 AMPoorest families ‘brutally exposed’ to price rises

Meanwhile, there’s a damning report out this morning from the Resolution Foundation showing that almost two decades of income stagnation has left the poorest British families “brutally exposed” to the current crisis.

The think tank said too many families faced the current crisis already struggling with low incomes, scant savings and ungenerous welfare support.

Adjusted for inflation, the disposable income of a typical household grew just 0.7pc annually in the 15 years before the Covid pandemic, and the poorest fifth of the population were no better off at all.

It blamed an abysmal productivity performance that has depressed pay levels and entrenched decades of inequality.

A typical wage would be £9,200 higher today had pay continued to grow as it did before the 2008-09 financial crisis.

This content is not available due to your privacy preferences.Update your settings here to see it.07:48 AMBCC: Red lights are flashing

Shevaun Haviland, director general of the BCC warns “the red lights on our economic dashboard are starting to flash”.

Nearly every single indicator has seen a deterioration since our last survey in March. Business confidence has taken a significant hit and fears over inflation and cost pressures are at new record highs.

07:45 AMUK firms to raise prices further

Good morning. 

It seems the cost-of-living crisis has much further to run as a record number of UK companies are planning imminent price increases.

Almost two-thirds of firms expect to raise prices over the next three months, according to the British Chambers of Commerce. This rises to 80pc in the retail, construction and manufacturing sectors.

The respondents cited concerns about higher energy prices, wage bills, fuel and raw material costs, while the BCC warned the “red lights were starting to flash” on its economic dashboard.

Meanwhile, a report from the Resolution Foundation found the poorest British families had been left “brutally exposed” to the cost-of-living crunch after almost two decades of income stagnation.

Adjusted for inflation, the disposable income of a typical household grew just 0.7pc annually in the 15 years before the Covid pandemic, while the poorest fifth of the population were no better off at all.

5 things to start your day

1) Boris Johnson urged to back bid for factory at heart of Britain’s food supply: Last-minute appeal for Boris Johnson to smooth path for takeover of fertiliser plant before August shutdown

2) City banks defy Brussels to out-earn French rivals: British banks have made more profit than French rivals for the first time since 2015, despite efforts by EU officials to shift more jobs out of London and onto the continent post-Brexit.

3)  Tesla loses $440m as Elon Musk’s Bitcoin bet sours: carmaker’s $1.5bn investment sheds value amid cryptocurrency plunge

4) RAF’s flagship drone squadron has no drones: The RAF’s flagship drone trials squadron owns no drones and has carried out no in-house trials with the uncrewed craft in the two years of its existence.

5) Roger Bootle:  Public sector pensioners will be the winners from this inflation disaster

What happened overnight

Asian markets were mixed and oil fell as traders fret over a possible recession caused by central bank interest rate hikes aimed at fighting soaring inflation.

Hong Kong dropped while Shanghai, Seoul, Taipei and Jakarta were also down.

However, Tokyo, Sydney, Singapore, Taipei and Wellington rose.

Coming up today

Corporate: No scheduled updates

Economics: Producer price index (EU)

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