Air strike Russia followed up a weekend threat to target the western suppliers of munitions to Ukraine with a strike on a facility used for Nato weapons training that killed 35 near Ukraine’s border with Poland. In response, the United States pledged a full Nato response if Russia was to attack Poland. (Reuters).

China risk The United States warned China it would “absolutely face consequences” if it helped Russia evade sanctions. China’s state banks have been trading with Russian banks to help them get around bans on them using SWIFT, while some Chinese state-run energy companies have been actively buying extra Russian oil and gas. The risk for New Zealand and Australia is if the United States and Europe start imposing secondary sanctions on China over this support for Russia. (Reuters).

Stocks start weak Global stocks begin the week in a fragile state. The S&P 500 fell another 1.3% on Friday, taking its losses for the week to 2.9%, which was the biggest weekly fall since late January. The Nasdaq fell 2.2% on Friday. Inflation expectations also rose, driving the US 10 year yield to 2.0%.

Oil supply block Talks to revive a deal with Iran to stop its nuclear development and free up its oil exports were suspended over the weekend after Russia demanded the deal include a ban on sanctions on Russia’s trade with Iran. Oil prices began the week over US$110/barrel. (The Guardian)

Fresh on BusinessDesk this morning

Jenny Ruth writes her weekly column on her preference for pro-rata share issues.

Henry Burrell reports the Commerce Commission is expected to approve the Orcon-2 Degrees merger on Tuesday.

Brent Melville reports the clean car rebate scheme has backfired with rising prices for hybrids.

Rebecca Howard reports on a plunge in farmer confidence and rising prices.