Germans will pay €1,000 a year to depend on Russian energy

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On a busy morning for corporate results, there are two winners who stand out.

Shell and British Gas owner Centrica both saw higher profits in their latest quarter as they benefited from soaring energy prices triggered by Russia’s war in Ukraine.

The companies are sharing the spoils with investors, with Shell announcing another $6 billion share buyback. This follows $8.5 billion in share buybacks in the first half.

Centrica, meanwhile, is raising its dividend for the first time since the pandemic began.

The payouts could spark political anger as they come on the heels of the windfall tax targeting the profits of oil and gas producers.

5 things to start your day

1) UK bets home on European energy Wholesale gas and electricity prices across the Channel are at record highs

2) Courts will be empowered to award Bitcoin damages The move would mean the damage could reflect large movements in the value of digital currencies

3) Facebook suffers first drop in revenue as advertising slows Parent company Meta warns of cuts to hiring and spending plans

4) The Federal Reserve raises interest rates sharply in its fight against inflation US move puts pressure on Bank of England to further suppress soaring prices

5) Saudi prince invests £190m in Britain’s biggest pension fund Saudi royal Alwaleed bin Talal Al Saud has taken a stake of just over 3% in Phoenix Group

What happened overnight

Asian stocks made cautious gains this morning as investors tipped the pace of U.S. rate hikes to slow, comforting bond markets and sending the dollar to a three-week low against the yen.

As expected, the US Federal Reserve raised rates by 75 basis points, but noted some easing in recent data.

The mere hint of a less aggressive Fed was enough to push MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific stocks outside Japan up 0.5%. Japan’s Nikkei added 0.3pc and South Korea 0.9pc. Firmed Chinese Blue Chips 0.6pc.

coming today

  • Company : Diageo (annual results); Airtel Africa, Alliance Trust, Anglo American, BAE Systems, Barclays, Centrica, FDM Group, Greencoat UK Wind, Hammerson, Inchcape, Indivior, ITV, National Express, Rathbone Brothers, Relx, Rentokil, Schroders, Scottish American Investment Company, Segro, Shell, Smith & Nephew, St James’s Place, Vesuvius, Weir (interims); AVEVA, BT, CMC Markets, CVS Group, Discoverie Group, Evraz (trade update)
  • Economy: GDP (US), unemployment insurance claims (US), consumer confidence (EU), business climate (EU)
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