Brussels Edition: Paris rising

Welcome to the Brussels Edition, Bloomberg’s daily briefing on what matters most in the heart of the European Union

In addition to the UK’s other woes, London is on the verge of losing its place as Europe’s biggest equity market — to Paris. The fallout from UK Prime Minister Liz Truss’s rough start has closed the gap between the market capitalization of companies on the two exchanges to near record lows, according to an index we compile. The differential between the UK and French markets has been gradually eroding since Britons voted to leave the EU in 2016 and now the plummeting pound is doing fresh damage. New companies are staying away too. Just $1.38 billion has been raised through initial public offerings in the UK this year, representing 14% of the European total, the smallest share in more than a decade. - Kevin Whitelaw

What’s Happening

Target Moscow | EU ambassadors will continue discussions on the bloc’s eighth sanctions package today. The latest version of the proposal, which includes an oil price cap and a plan to prohibit EU nationals from sitting on boards of Russian state-owned companies, adds an exemption for maritime pilot services to guide oil tankers carrying Russian crude destined for third countries through narrow choke points.

Delivering Pledges | The US is willing to support Ukraine’s finances with $1.5 billion a month in aid as it battles Russia and is pushing EU allies to commit to similar amounts, we’re told. With the EU haggling internally over the delivery of previous pledges, allies have been discussing a more regular mechanism to help keep Ukraine’s economy afloat.

Bulgarian Paralysis | The conservative party of Bulgaria’s former premier, Boyko Borissov, came first in a parliamentary election yesterday. But his isolation and the Balkan nation’s fragmented political landscape mean he’s unlikely to be able to form a cabinet – leaving the EU’s poorest member state in for an extended period of limbo.

Farm Alarm | Europe’s farmers are going to great lengths to use less fertilizer now that many of the continent’s plants have closed because of a dearth of gas that nitrogen fertilizer is derived from. Read more about the drastic steps farmers are taking.

In Case You Missed It

Sticky Numbers | European inflation is looking more persistent than expected. Euro-area price increases have outpaced the US for two straight months. The gap likely widened in September, when Europe-wide inflation hit 10%. Economists looking a year ahead now see Europe’s inflation lingering close to 5%; in the US it’s expected to drop to around 3%.

Strong Win | Latvian leader Krisjanis Karins, a staunch critic of Vladimir Putin, won a decisive election victory as voters punished a party backed by ethnic Russians. The result underscores a growing split in Europe, with some countries that escaped Moscow’s orbit rallying around Euro-Atlantic solidarity and populists elsewhere trying to foment a backlash. 

Gas Off | Russia’s state-controlled Gazprom suspended natural gas deliveries to Italy in an apparent scuffle over regulation in Austria, deepening the energy crisis in Europe. Italy once relied on Russia for about 40% of its gas imports, but has been aggressively cutting that dependence.

Oil Confab | OPEC+ will consider this week cutting output by more than 1 million barrels a day in response to predictions of slowing economic growth when it holds its first in-person meeting since March 2020. The 23-nation alliance, led by Saudi Arabia and Russia, is scheduled to meet Wednesday at its headquarters in Vienna.

Chart of the Day 

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With a continent-wide recession now seemingly inevitable, chemical producers, steel plants and carmakers in Europe are bracing for a harsh winter with soaring energy bills. German glassmaker Schott is working to replace the natural gas it uses with propane, which has escaped the price shocks of other fuels. Other companies are taking similar steps. Carlsberg converted a brewery in Denmark to run on oil instead of gas, while Volkswagen shelved a plan to switch its German power plants from coal to gas. 

Today’s Agenda (All times CET)

  • 2 p.m. Eurogroup finance ministers arrive for meeting in Luxembourg with press conference expected at 6:30 p.m.
  • 3 p.m. EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell speaks ahead of EU-Israel Association Council meeting. 
  • 7 p.m. Council president Charles Michel meets Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte in the Hague
 
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