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We start today with a scoop on fresh US efforts to stop the Kremlin from skirting western sanctions.
And there are fears for the future of the London stock market as Japan’s SoftBank and the world’s largest building materials group both shunned the City in favour of New York.
In the days ahead, I’m keeping tabs on:
PMI data: S&P Global composite (manufacturing and services) PMI data is set to be released for China, India and Japan today.
Japan jobless rate: Figures for January will be announced at 8:30am local time today.
China’s National People’s Congress: Xi Jinping is expected to unveil sweeping changes to extend Communist party’s grip over finance and other sectors at the rubber-stamp parliament’s annual session, which begins Sunday.
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Today’s top news
1. The US has launched a renewed crackdown on countries and individuals helping the Kremlin evade western sanctions amid growing fears that Russia is fuelling the war in Ukraine by funnelling imports through countries such as the United Arab Emirates and Turkey. Western allies also believe there are weak links in central Asia and the Caucasus.
2. In the same week that SoftBank rejected a London listing for chip designer Arm, building materials giant CRH set out plans to move its shares to the US, where it generates the bulk of its profits and expects to benefit from President Joe Biden’s plans for infrastructure investment. Here’s why it matters.
3. US-based investment firm GQG has ploughed $1.9bn into four Adani group companies, giving a boost to infrastructure tycoon Gautam Adani after his conglomerate was hit by a short seller attack five weeks ago. Read the full story.
4. Hundreds of young Iranian girls have been poisoned in a series of mysterious gas attacks on schools across the Islamic republic, raising fears that militant religious groups are waging a dangerous campaign against female education. More on the ongoing attacks.
5. Pakistan’s central bank has raised lending rates by 300 basis points to 20 per cent, the highest of any country in Asia. FT’s Farhan Bokhari explains why policymakers have continued to hike rates.
How well did you keep up with the news this week? Take our quiz.
The Big Read
Had it not been for his doctor, André de Ruyter would probably have died, the former chief of South Africa’s collapsing electricity utility Eskom told the FT. The attempted poisoning, through cyanide-laced coffee, is a dramatic example of how criminality has seeped into South Africa’s state, de Ruyter tells Africa editor David Pilling.
We’re also reading and watching. . .
Chart of the day
Incoming Bank of Japan governor Kazuo Ueda has hinted that the central bank’s policy of capping long-term government borrowing costs through vast bond purchases — known as yield curve control — is unlikely to survive in its existing form. But any change will have a significant impact on global financial markets.
Take a break from the news
In Bali, plastic bags are getting a second life as homeware. Plastic flip-flops are transformed into art, and recycled bottle caps become a chair as a wave of designers, artists and environmental advocates turn the island’s copious rubbish into upcycled treasures.
Additional contributions by Gordon Smith and Tee Zhuo
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