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FirstFT: Today’s top stories

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Markets were braced for volatility in US petrol and diesel prices on Sunday as the country’s biggest fuel pipeline remained shut down following a cyber attack by a criminal gang known as DarkSide.

The Colonial Pipeline, which carries 45 per cent of the fuel consumed on the US East Coast, was taken offline on Friday, restricting the movement of petrol, diesel and jet fuel from refineries on the Gulf coast to markets such as Atlanta, Washington and New York.

The disruption comes as Americans begin travelling more with the lifting of coronavirus restrictions, and just ahead of the US driving season, the country’s peak demand months.

“We’re realising the gravity of it is maybe worse than what we’d expected,” said Patrick De Haan, head of petroleum analysis at data provider GasBuddy.

The attack has raised the possibility that fuel prices could to surge to their highest level since 2014. (FT, AP, Bloomberg)

For more essential energy news, forward-thinking analysis and insider intelligence, sign up for our Energy Source newsletter delivered every Tuesday and Thursday.

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In the news

Israel delays East Jerusalem evictions Israel bowed to international pressure and delayed the eviction of several Palestinian families from their East Jerusalem homes, as security services warned their expulsion could further inflame some of the worst violence in the Holy City for years.

China’s rocket debris lands in Indian Ocean A rocket stage that was connected to China’s Long March 5B rocket, which was launched in space last month, re-entered Earth’s atmosphere near the Maldives, landing in the Indian Ocean early Sunday morning Beijing time. It was unknown exactly where the debris would land. (AP)

Scotland election result sets up new referendum showdown Nicola Sturgeon, Scotland’s first minister, on Sunday paved the way for an independence showdown with Boris Johnson as early as next year, saying she “desperately hoped” Covid-19 would have receded by then.

Musk hosts Saturday Night Live Elon Musk’s star turn as guest host of Saturday Night Live was like no other in the nearly half-century history of the US television comedy show. Musk’s appearance helped pump up the price of a cryptocurrency that began as a joke. The value of dogecoin was trading around 52 cents at the end of the showing — its market value at about $72bn. (FT, WSJ)

EU and India agree to restart trade talks Brussels and New Delhi have agreed to restart long-stalled negotiations on a comprehensive trade deal as the two sides seek to boost their economic engagement and respond to the increasing power of China.

China edges closer to wealth link with Hong Kong China has moved a step closer towards a scheme that could result in tens of billions of dollars in household savings flowing into Hong Kong, marking the latest effort to integrate the country’s financial system into global markets.

Australia’s Macquarie announces plan to exit coal by 2024 The Sydney-based investment bank said on Friday that it expected its lending exposure to coal to “run off” within three years as it outlined a climate policy to align its financing activities with global commitments to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050.

The day ahead

Hertz courtroom auction A bidding war for the bankrupt car rental group Hertz will reach its end-game when rival private equity bidders square off in an auction to be conducted in a federal bankruptcy court on Monday.

What else we’re reading

China’s ambitions in space Analysts fear that China’s accelerated pace of rocket and satellite launches, combined with a reluctance to share details of projects deemed of critical national importance, creates ripe conditions for it to stumble into a new space arms race with the US, whether it wants one or not.

China was the first country to reach the far side of the Moon with its Chang’e-4 lunar probe, in 2019 © CNSA via AFP/Getty Images
China was the first country to reach the far side of the Moon with its Chang’e-4 lunar probe, in 2019 © CNSA via AFP/Getty Images

Japan presses ahead with its great Olympics gamble The political determination to go on with the games is at odds with public enthusiasm as the country’s own citizens are subjected to an extended state of emergency and a languid vaccination programme, writes Leo Lewis.

How billionaire women are reshaping philanthropy As Melinda Gates petitions for divorce, charities are scrambling to respond to gender, generational and strategic shifts. The growth in women’s giving in part reflects the growth in their wealth. Meanwhile, millennial philanthropy may forever change finance, writes Gillian Tett.

Has America had enough of war? As well as the heavy impact on the military, the war in Afghanistan has shaken something deep in America’s sense of itself. A shift seen across the political spectrum during two decades of fighting has begun to probe the global role of the US and even the idea of American exceptionalism, a notion that the country is a unique force for good in the world.

Creative destruction is the silver lining of the Covid-19 crisis There has been remarkable creativity shown by the many businesses that have thrived by transforming themselves in unexpected ways during the pandemic, writes Rana Foroohar. For more commentary from Rana and Edward Luce on the intersection of US politics and money sign up for our Swamp Notes newsletter.

New Yorkers prop up the bar again The easing of restrictions on bars is another sign that New York City’s once fitful reopening from the Covid shutdown has broken into a headlong gallop. Johnny’s in Greenwich Village is a neighbourhood bar that has survived gentrification, September 11, the financial crisis, a fitness boom and is now emerging from the pandemic.

Video of the day

A revolution in retail recycling? Unwanted goods create mountains of waste and cost retailers hundreds of billions of dollars. The FT’s Helen Barrett explores the latest moves by big brands like Ikea and Decathlon to resell and recycle damaged and rejected stock that would otherwise be broken down or discarded. For the latest news and analysis on ESG and responsible business, subscribe to our Moral Money newsletter, delivered every Wednesday and Friday.

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