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Investment Market Update - 2 March 2022

Good morning and welcome to another day of market updates.

Markets are picking up today after the last few days of falls and the Ft100 is already up 1% at 7400 levels.

The situation in Ukraine appears to be deteriorating as the Russian advance continues.

Stock market trading on the Moscow Exchange will be suspended for a third day in a row on Wednesday, Russia's central bank has said in a statement. However, it also said it would allow a limited range of operations for the first time this week. It comes after the rouble slumped to a record low and Russian companies listed overseas saw their share prices slide. Russian citizens can no longer leave the country with more than $10,000 (£7,500) in foreign currency on hand after President Putin made the declaration in a decree. The order will go into effect from Wednesday. It comes as sanctions by Western nations have crippled the Russian economy and tanked the value of the rouble. The local people are fighting hard against the might of the Russian Army, Apple has become the latest major firm to halt all product sales in Russia, in a widening corporate backlash to the country's invasion of Ukraine. The iPhone giant said it was "deeply concerned" about the Russian invasion and stands with those "suffering as a result of the violence". Apple Pay and other services such as Apple Maps have also been limited. Google has also removed Russian state-funded publishers such as RT from its features. Mobile banking apps in Russian, such as Russia's VTB Bank's app, may soon not function fully on devices using Apple's iOS operating system, according to news agency RIA. Firms cutting off Russia Meanwhile, the Finnish network equipment maker Nokia said it would stop deliveries to Russia to comply with sanctions imposed on the country following the invasion of Ukraine. On Monday, Netflix also said it had "no plans" to add state-run channels to its Russian service. Russian regulations had required it to carry 20 free-to-air news, sports and entertainment channels in the country. US sportswear giant Nike has also paused sales in Russia. An update to the company's website showed that purchases online and on the app were unavailable in Russia because the firm said it could not guarantee delivery of goods to the country. However, the website update directed customers to their nearest Nike stores. Warner Bros, Disney and Sony have halted the release of films in Russian cinemas, after the invasion of Ukraine. The announcements mean the releases of major movies The Batman, Turning Red and Morbius will now not go ahead as scheduled in the country. They come as governments around the world have been ramping up their sanctions against Moscow. In recent days global corporations, including car makers and energy giants, have cut business ties with Russia. Warner Bros blockbuster The Batman was due to be released in Russia on Friday. Prices in shops rose at their fastest rate in over a decade in February, the British Retail Consortium (BRC) says. Shop price inflation jumped from 1.5% in January to 1.8% in February, according to the BRC-NielsenIQ price index. It marks the highest rate of inflation it has recorded since November 2011. The sharp rise was partly driven by fresh food price rises and higher prices for other goods such as beauty and furniture products. Many people have been struggling with a cost of living crisis as fuel prices and energy bills continue to soar. The latest official figures provided by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) showed living costs rising at their highest rate for 30 years. Oil prices have surged despite new measures aimed at calming markets worried by the invasion of Ukraine. Brent crude - the international benchmark for oil prices - has hit $113 a barrel, marking the highest level since June 2014. It rose even after the International Energy Agency's members agreed to release 60 million barrels of oil from emergency stockpiles. Russia is one of the biggest energy producers in the world. As a result, concerns about Russia's invasion of Ukraine have sparked concerns among investors that oil or gas supplies could be affected. Meanwhile, the price of US oil - West Texas Intermediate crude - rose to almost $109 a barrel. Have a great day! Best Regards S Dhanda

Head of Wealth @ ALFRED DUNN

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