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Investment Market Update - 22 February 2022

Good morning and welcome to another day of market updates.

Markets have been unsettled in recent days due to the ongoing concerns around Ukraine and Russias encroachments into the region.

Ft100 is down slightly at 7460 levels.

Dow jones has also slipped as well over the last few weeks.

Oil prices are climbing on fears that the Ukraine-Russia crisis will disrupt supplies across the world.

The price of Brent crude, an international benchmark, reached a seven-year high of $99.38 (£73) a barrel on Tuesday.

Russia ordered troops into two rebel-held regions in Ukraine's east after it recognised them as independent states.

Rising inflation led to government interest payments hitting a record high for the month of January, figures show.

Interest payments hit £6.1bn last month, the highest amount for a January since records began in April 1997 and up from £4.5bn last year.

The payments are pegged to the Retail Prices Index (RPI) measure of inflation - which reached 7.8% in January.

January's interest payments were, however, below the all-time high of £9bn in June last year.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) said government finances recorded a surplus of £2.9bn last month as the economy opened up from lockdowns and tax receipts improved.

The surplus compares with a £2.5bn deficit in January 2021 - when spending on coronavirus support measures was higher.

However, the latest figure is still a £7bn smaller surplus than in January 2020, before the pandemic.

UK finances are normally healthier in January as self-assessment income tax receipts come in. Revenues from self-assessed tax was £18.4bn last month, an increase of £2bn from a year earlier.

KitKat and Nescafe-maker Nestle has warned it will increase the prices of its products due to the growing cost of producing its goods.

Mark Schneider, boss of the food group, said it was "safe assumption" that prices would rise this year.

He said there was "no place" in the company that was "exempt of inflation".

Reckitt Benckiser, the consumer goods company behind Durex and Dettol, also said prices would rise, but added it hoped to absorb most of the increases.

Reckitt's costs rose 11% in 2021, but chief executive Laxman Narasimhan said that wouldn't mean prices rising by that amount, as the company had ways to "mitigate and manage pricing"

A shortage of homes being put up for sale has led to rising asking prices and frustration for buyers, two reports suggest. The average asking price for a property in Britain has risen by £7,785 in February compared with last month, property portal Rightmove said. This was the largest month-on-month rise for 20 years, it said. High-end estate agent Savills found buyers could also be affected by the rising cost of living.

Have a great day!

Best Regards

S Dhanda

Head of Wealth @ ALFRED DUNN

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