President Joe Biden signed an executive order on Monday prohibiting investment in areas of Ukraine that Russian President Vladimir Putin recognises as separatist states. The order came after Mr Putin signed a decree recognising the separatist regions of Donetsk and Luhansk in Ukraine’s east as independent entities. White House press secretary Jen Psaki said that the White House had anticipated such a move and that Mr Biden’s executive order would prohibit new investment, trade, and financing by Americans to, from and in the so-called Donetsk People’s Republic and Luhansk People’s Republic. The order would also prohibit “the importation into the United States, directly or indirectly, of any goods, services, or technology from the Covered Regions,” as well as “the exportation, re-exportation, sale, or supply, directly or indirectly, from the United States, or by a United States person, wherever located, of any goods, services, or technology” to the regions.
All Covid restrictions will end in England on Thursday and free mass testing will stop from 1 April. The prime minister told MPs the legal duty to isolate for those who tested positive would be dropped as he unveiled his “living with Covid” plan. Meanwhile, the British Medical Association, a doctors’ union, said the plan failed to protect those most at risk from Covid. Furthermore, opposition parties said the prime minister’s blueprint out of the pandemic had moved too fast, and voiced concern over the scaling back of free testing. Sir Chris said the public health advice for people with Covid would still be to self-isolate to prevent others catching it, as it would be for many other highly infectious diseases. The UK government’s chief scientific adviser added that the virus would continue to evolve over the next couple of years and argued it was crucial the nation retained a virus surveillance system to monitor new threats and the capacity to “ramp up” measures again quickly to protect the vulnerable.
Sterling is weaker than most major currencies in the early morning trade. Britain’s biggest private businesses will be expected to match listed companies on gender parity, as ministers launch a fresh push for more women to be appointed to senior leadership positions. Britain’s City minister has said tens of billions of pounds of investment would be unleashed from insurance companies as he released further details of a post-Brexit rewrite of rules governing the sector. The UK’s defence ministry still risks spending more than it can afford on new weapons and equipment because of longstanding issues, including over-optimism about programme costs and its ability to hit cost-saving targets, the parliamentary spending watchdog has warned. The industry regulator Ofwat suggested that Britain’s privatised water companies should link executive pay to performance on a range of measures including sewage pollution. UK business activity expanded at its fastest pace for eight months in February as the Omicron coronavirus wave faded and consumers headed out to spend on travel and leisure.
Euro is stronger against sterling and weaker against the dollar this morning. Vladimir Putin has ordered troops into eastern Ukraine after recognising two Moscow-backed separatist regions, hobbling the prospects of a diplomatic solution to the crisis as he put his country on a war footing. The Ukrainian military said two soldiers were killed and 12 wounded in shelling by pro-Russian separatists in the east in the past 24 hours, the most casualties this year, as ceasefire violations increased. The United States and its European allies are now poised to announce harsh new sanctions against Russia. Meanwhile, European stocks fell as investors clung to hopes that diplomacy will prevail over an increasingly tense Russia-Ukraine crisis. The losses came midmorning on Monday in Europe after a Kremlin spokesman said no concrete plans for a summit between President Joe Biden and Russian President Vladimir Putin had been made, following weekend efforts by French President Emmanuel Macron to broker discussions to avert conflict in Europe.
The dollar is well bid against most major currencies overnight. There could be a knock-on impact to energy prices paid by American consumers from ongoing tensions between Russia and Ukraine, US Vice-President Kamala Harris said, adding that the US government is working to mitigate the effects. Kamala Harris said the United States is taking “specific and appropriate steps” to prepare for any potential costs. Donald Trump’s return to social media after being banned from several platforms last year is off to a bumpy start: the former president’s new social media venture, Truth Social, launched on Apple’s App Store on Sunday, rife with errors, malfunctions, and looming questions. A “major winter storm” is set to unfold across some northern tier states in the US in the next 24 hours, with temperatures in some places dropping up to 30 degrees below average, forecasters have warned. There is a risk of excessive rainfall and severe thunderstorms from the southern plains to Tennessee and the Ohio Valley from Monday into Wednesday, the National Weather Service said.
Ballinger & CO. Morning Report- 22nd February 2022
GBP>EUR – 1.1992
GBP>USD – 1.3589
EUR>USD – 1.1334
GBP>CAD – 1.7308
GBP>AUD – 1.8840
GBP>SEK – 12.758
GBP>AED – 4.9905
GBP>HKD – 10.600
GBP>ZAR – 20.618
GBP>CHF – 1.2471
· 10:00 a.m.: Germany Feb. Ifo business climate, current assessment
· 10:00 a.m.: Italy Jan. CPI
· 11:15 a.m.: Austria to sell bonds
· 11:45 a.m.: BOE’s Dave Ramsden speaks
· 12:00 p.m.: Ireland Jan. PPI
· 2:00 p.m.: Hungary central bank rate decision
· 2:00 p.m.: Norges Bank Governor Olsen speaks
· 3:00 p.m.: Belgium Feb. business confidence
· International Energy Week kicks off
· Argus Oil Forum in London
· Forex Today: Dollar holds its ground as risk aversion takes over
· EUR/USD Forecast: Euro closes in on key support as risk aversion favours bears
· US Markit PMIs Preview: Services sector has room for upside surprise, boosting the dollar
· Euro and rouble to nosedive if a full-blown war breaks out – Danske Bank
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