February Government borrowing at highest level since records began

Public sector net borrowing was £16.7 billion in February – a record number for the month.

It was £9.7 billion up on the same month last year and the highest February borrowing since monthly records began in 1993.

This was largely due to significant government spending on its energy price guarantee, which kept average annual household bills at £2,500 over the winter.

5 things to start the day off right

1) A dispute erupts between Brussels and Switzerland over the rescue agreement with Credit Suisse | ECB and Bank of England blame Swiss regulator for forcing bondholders to bear losses

2) Financial turmoil will force Bank of England to abandon rate hike, City predicts | Barclays scraps rate hike forecast as turmoil in financial markets continues

3) How the debt markets could still derail the Credit Suisse bailout | The surge in UBS’s credit default swaps suggests the bank has bitten off more than it can chew

4) Ulez should be in every UK city, says Uber’s UK boss | Andrew Brem praises Sadiq Khan’s controversial plan as Uber plans electric shift

5) Startups are being urged to withdraw cash from small US banks to protect themselves | Advising VC firms after the collapse of the Silicon Valley Bank

what happened overnight

Asian stocks lifted off their lows on Tuesday, with the Credit Suisse bailout curbing selling in bank stocks, although sentiment was fragile and stress in the markets caused traders to wonder if US interest rate hikes might be over.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific stocks outside Japan rose 0.5 percent in early trade, Australian stocks rebounded 1.3 percent from Monday’s four-month low and the Hang Seng opened 0.7 percent higher.

Overnight, an early sell-off in Europe was reversed and on Wall Street, the S&P 500 rose 0.9 percent. U.S. futures were up 0.2 percent in early trade with Asia.

Wall Street’s main stock indices rallied on Monday as investors rushed into bank stocks after UBS’s state-backed bailout of ailing rival Credit Suisse had now allayed contagion concerns.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed at 32,244.58, up 1.pc. The broad-based S&P 500 gained 0.89% to close at 3,951.57, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite climbed 0.39 percent to 11,675.54.

US Treasury yields rose ahead of Wednesday’s much-anticipated Federal Reserve interest rate decision.

The policy-sensitive two-year yield rose to 3.97 percent, while the benchmark 10-year government bond yield rose to 3.49 percent.

The FTSE 100 rebounded from early trading lows to close 0.93 percent higher at 7,403.85. Mining stocks pushed the blue-chip index higher as investors fled to safe metals, offsetting UK lender stocks that weighed on the FTSE 100 and FTSE 250.

The more domestically focused FTSE 250 mid-cap index was up 0.13 percent to close.


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