Business

Wholesale gas costs have risen sharply while Bitcoin and stock market values have plunged further as tensions over Russia’s intentions concerning Ukraine add to the cocktail of concerns being juggled by global investors.

The market volatility builds on heavy sell-offs that saw the US Nasdaq index come under particular pressure and endure its worst week of trading since March 2020 last week.

That was largely down to fears of inflated market values and an accelerated pace of rate rises ahead as the Federal Reserve comes under growing pressure to cool surging inflation by raising interest rates at its meeting this week.

The start of the new trading week saw a sell-off in Europe gather pace – building on losses on Friday linked to the US rate and tech rout.

The flight from risk also saw Bitcoin fall more than 6% to below $34,000 for the first time since July last year.

The pound came under pressure too and was six tenths of a cent down on the dollar as the so-called safe haven US currency found support.

The FTSE 100 was 99 points – or 1.3% lower – in late morning deals, led by miners.

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That built on the losses of 1.2% witnessed on Friday.

Percentage falls in France, Germany and Italy on Monday were even sharper with the MIB in Milan off by more than 2.5%.

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