The FTSE 100 just about kept up its run of recent gains in early trading as Russia turns off gas to the Netherlands after it refused to pay in roubles for imports and the EU banned most Russian oil.
As we head into summer Russia has less leverage with its oil and gas supplies but the Netherland’s move is a reminder of the havoc Moscow could wreak later this year as temperatures drop and this remains a lingering inflationary threat.
With US markets closed overnight for Memorial Day, European markets in general were lacking a bit of direction on Tuesday.
“Unilever has given in to the pressure and handed activist investor Nelson Peltz a seat on its board. The consumer goods firm has been struggling in the wake of the failed takeover of GSK Consumer Health and investors have welcomed the move warmly,” says AJ Bell investment director Russ Mould.
“Inviting Peltz in is only likely to ramp up the pressure on beleaguered CEO Alan Jope and we may now see the company advance plans to streamline the business and address governance concerns.
“The focus as water company Pennon reported its full year numbers was the impact of its inflation-linked debt payments, which led to a drop in profit. This somewhat undermines the company’s appeal as a way for investors to protect themselves against rising prices.