China steps up support for Putin as Western sanctions bite

House prices have fallen on an annual basis for the first time since December 2012, according to lender Halifax.

Across the UK, house prices fell by 1pc, Halifax said.

The average house price remained flat month-on-month in May, sitting at £286,532.

5 things to start your day 

1) CBI survives crunch vote as members back overhaul | 93pc voted in favour of reforms amid sexual misconduct scandal

2) Worst month ever for ESG funds as British investors pull £300m | Ethical equity funds ditched in favour of higher returns

3) Chinese CCTV cameras that caught Matt Hancock affair to be banned over national security concerns | It follows mounting fears that Chinese companies could offer Beijing a backdoor for espionage

4) M&S scraps use by dates on milk and tells shoppers to decide for themselves | Move forms part of a wider pledge to halve supermarket’s food waste by 2030

5) Coinbase sued by regulators as US squeezes crypto industry | The charges come just one day after the world’s largest crypto exchange, Binance, was similarly accused by the SEC of breaking US securities laws

What happened overnight 

Wall Street stocks were higher at the end of a choppy session Tuesday as beaten-down regional banking shares advanced on a quiet day for markets.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average edged up less than 0.1pc to 33,573.28.

The broad-based S&P 500 gained 0.2pc to 4,283.85, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index climbed 0.4pc to 13,276.42.

In the bond market, the yield on the 10-year Treasury slipped to 3.68pc from 3.69pc late Monday.

In the Asia-Pacific markets on Wednesday morning, stocks strengthened as expectations for stimulus from China and overnight gains on Wall Street boosted the mood.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan gained 0.7pc in the morning.

China’s benchmark equity index rose 0.3pc, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng added 1.2pc.

On Tuesday, China reportedly asked the biggest banks to cut deposit rates to boost the economy. Speculation of policy support for the troubled property sector has been lifting those shares over the past week.

Japan was an outlier, with the Nikkei sliding 1.1pc after touching a 33-year high on Tuesday.

The Australian dollar reached its highest since mid-May at $0.6690, extending a rally following another central bank rate increase.

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