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Russia’s race to avoid a debt default has intensified as it struggles to find a way around sanctions.

The country moved closer to default after Wall Street banks halted interest payments on two-dollar bonds, forcing it to pay in rubles instead.

Yesterday the Credit Derivatives Determination Committee declared the ruble payment a potential default, stoking fears that Russia may have reversed its defaults.

Moscow is now said to be exploring ways to reroute bond payments through national institutions, although it is still unclear whether this will succeed.

5 things to start your day

1) Rosneft scrambles to unload crude ahead of feared EU embargo Russia’s top oil supplier Rosneft has tendered three 700,000-barrel shipments

2) City businesses roll out ‘red herring’ perks to avoid big resignation Record vacancies are forcing employers to be inventive about benefits despite doubts about whether work-life balance is really changing

3) Reduce speed limit by 10mph to beat Putin, says Sir Richard Branson Billionaire calls for 60mph limit on motorways to ‘save lives’ by reducing energy use

4) Apple will automatically block children’s access to nude images sent to their iPhone New Apple feature will prompt children before allowing them to view indecent images

5) Families will be forced to spend £34billion in lockdown savings on credit card bills Households are expected to be significantly worse off as high prices push consumers into debt

What happened overnight

Stocks in mainland China and Hong Kong fell on Thursday on worries about the Chinese economy, but an overnight drop in yields on longer-dated US Treasuries supported other benchmarks. .

A 0.78pc drop for Hong Kong and a 0.36pc drop for blue chips in mainland China led to a 0.22pc drop in MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific stocks outside Japan.

But equity benchmarks in Australia and Korea rose, while the Japanese Nikkei rose 0.81pc. Nasdaq futures gained 0.6% and S&P500 futures advanced 0.4%.

coming today

  • Business : Antofagasta, AJ Bell, Anglo American, Foxtons, Man Group, Meggitt, Polymetal International, Relx, Rentokil Initial, Segro (commercial declarations)
  • Economy: Inflation (EU)consumer confidence (EU)unemployment benefit claims (WE)IMF meeting (WE)

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