The world this week -- Business
Stockmarkets remained jittery amid the possibility of a Russian invasion of Ukraine.
The S&P 500 dropped by almost 2% in a day and the Nasdaq by almost 5% over two days as America warned that a Russian invasion was imminent.
The disquiet spread to European markets, where share prices of airlines, which would see flight schedules disrupted by no-fly conflict zones over eastern Europe, were hit particularly hard.
Trading seesawed in reaction to the latest diplomatic moves.
Russia's belligerence also caused a spike in oil prices.
A barrel of Brent crude hit close to $97 a barrel, the highest in seven years.
Energy markets are hypersensitive to any disruption in oil-and-gas flows from Russia.
In America the White House said it was open to the idea of suspending the fuel tax on petrol until next year.
With annual consumer-price inflation in America now at 7.5% the Democrats are looking at myriad ways to ease spiralling household costs.
Investors were also on high alert for signs of the Federal Reserve quickening the pace of interest-rate rises.
The minutes of the Fed's latest meeting showed it discussing a faster timetable.
Goldman Sachs forecast that it will raise rates seven times this year.
Russia's central bank increased interest rates for the eighth consecutive time, lifting its key rate from 8.5% to 9.5%.
Annual inflation is running at close to 9%.
The rouble has weakened as markets weigh the effect of crippling sanctions if Russia invades Ukraine.
The Bank of Russia says more rate rises are possible over coming months.
The lifting of a Covid-19 state of emergency in September and resulting surge in consumer spending helped Japan's economy expand by 1.3% in the last three months of 2021 compared with the previous quarter, when it had shrunk by 0.7%.
Japanese GDP grew by 1.7% for the whole of 2021.
New restrictions, however, came into force at the start of this year with the outbreak of the Omicron variant.
Falling food prices, notably for pork, lay behind a drop in China's official consumer-inflation rate to 0.9% in January, year on year.
Manufacturing costs also eased.
The producer-price index rose by 9.1%.
That was down from 10.3% in December, helped by a softening of coal and steel prices.