Bloomberg - Evening Briefing - ‘Subsidizing Putin’s war’

Bloomberg Evening Briefing

President Joe Biden said the U.S. will ban imports of Russian fossil fuels including oil, a major escalation of global efforts to hobble Russia’s economy in retaliation for its attack on Ukraine. The U.S. move will be matched in part by the U.K., which announced a ban on Russian oil imports, though it will continue to allow natural gas and coal from the country. “The U.S. is targeting the main artery of Russia’s economy,” Biden said Tuesday in Washington. “We will not be part of subsidizing Putin’s war.” The escalation in sanctions comes as the United Nations reported that close to 500 civilians have been confirmed killed by Russian attacks across Ukraine, including dozens of children, though it added the actual number is likely much higher. Millions of Ukrainians have fled the massive assault by Kremlin forces, which are now intensifying their bombing of Kyiv

Bloomberg is tracking the coronavirus pandemic and the progress of global vaccination efforts.

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With gasoline prices already spiking, Biden had a warning for Big Oil should the fossil fuel giants try to gouge American consumers in a time of crisis. He warned against excessive price rises and emphasized the industry is capable of ramping up domestic production to ease prices.

Volatility gripped global financial markets as U.S. stocks and oil swung wildly. The S&P 500 closed down Tuesday, lurching lower in the last hour of trading on a day that saw the benchmark gain almost 2% and drop as much as 1%. The index plunged nearly 3% Monday to close more than 12% below its Jan. 3 record. Here’s your markets wrap. 

The London Metal Exchange suspended trading in its nickel market after an unprecedented price spike left brokers struggling to pay margin calls against unprofitable short positions, in a massive squeeze that has embroiled the largest nickel producer as well as a major Chinese bank 

The trading floor of the open outcry pit at the London Metal Exchange Photographer: Chris J. Ratcliffe/Bloomberg

The Russian stock market’s trading halt, the longest in its modern history, is being extended in an effort to keep prices from tumbling in the wake of vast international sanctions. But trading on the foreign exchange, money and repo markets is set to resume.

Providing childcare and paid leave to parents of young children would be a boon for the U.S. economy, according to a new report by Moody’s. The research, released on International Women’s Day, projected that policies such as paid family leave and universal pre-kindergarten could result in a $1 trillion boost to gross domestic product by 2028. 

If you want to know what stagflation looks like, Conor Sen says you should check out the housing market. The conditions that existed during the 1970’s—high inflation and stagnant output—are happening already in this segment of the U.S. economy, he writes in Bloomberg Opinion.

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is fueling sticker shock at the pump for Americans and sharpening already uneasy feelings about the impact of inflation, Brooke Sutherland writes in Bloomberg Opinion. Why then are we in such a hurry to end pandemic-era work-from-home policies and force employees to commute to offices again

What you’ll need to know tomorrow

Apple Unveils 5G Version of Its Low-End iPhone

Apple introduced 5G versions of its low-end iPhone SE and iPad Air tablet, as well as a redesigned Mac desktop computer and faster processor, kicking off what’s likely to be its most prolific year yet for new product releases. 

Next-generation iPhone SE Source: Apple

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