FTSE 100 braced after Wall Street suffers biggest sell-off since 2020

Good morning. 

Global markets suffered a sharp sell-off overnight as fears about surging inflation and a slowdown in economic growth rattled investors.

The war in Ukraine and Covid lockdowns in China have both dragged down sentiment, sparking the biggest rout on Wall Street since the early months of the pandemic.

Disappointing results from retail giant Target sent the benchmark S&P 500 down 4pc – its worst fall since June 2020. The tech-heavy Nasdaq plunged 5pc.

The jitters spread across Asian markets, while the FTSE 100 was poised to start the day in the red.

5 things to start your day 

1) How the Bank of England’s money printing spree paved the way for inflation crisis  Threadneedle Street’s largesse during Covid has contributed to higher prices now, economists say 

2) Ask drivers to cut their motorway speed to beat energy crisis, says Brussels  European Commission tells member states they must reduce power use 

3) Vladimir Putin ‘weaponising’ world’s food supplies  Western officials say the Kremlin is deliberately destroying farming equipment and grain stores in Ukraine 

4) Elon Musk attacks Democrats as ‘party of division and hate’  Billionaire accuses ‘phony social justice warriors’ of attack on Tesla

5) Judge me on my performance, not whether I wear trousers, says Aviva chief  Amanda Blanc hits back after being told she is ‘not the man for the job’

What happened overnight 

Asian markets posted big early losses Thursday, after Wall Street suffered one of its worst batterings in two years in the previous session. On Thursday morning, Hong Kong was down by more than 3pc, while Tokyo was down by about 2.5pc.

Coming up today

  • Corporate: Great Portland Estates, Investec, National Grid, Royal Mail (full-year results); Countryside Partnerships, easyJet, Euromoney Institutional Investor, QinetiQ (interims); Essentra, Genuit Group, Tyman, Watches of Switzerland (trading update)
  • Economics: GfK consumer confidence (UK), jobless claims (US)

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