Donald Trump’s refusal to blame Russia for meddling in the 2016 election sparked outrage at home from across the political spectrum and prompted his director of national intelligence to reiterate accusations that the Kremlin was out to “undermine our democracy”. 

Friends joined with foes to condemn Mr Trump’s assertions on Monday he found Russian President Vladimir Putin’s denial of involvement “extremely strong and powerful” even if the US intelligence community had come to the opposite conclusion. 

Newt Gingrich, former Republican speaker of the House of Representatives and one of the US president’s most reliable defenders, said Mr Trump’s comments at a joint news conference with the Russian president in Helsinki were “the most serious mistake of his presidency and must be corrected — immediately.” 

His call came after John McCain, the ailing Arizona Republican senator known for his wariness of Russia and Mr Putin as well as his battles with Mr Trump, said: “No prior president has ever abased himself more abjectly before a tyrant.”

In markets, an overnight fall in oil prices weighed on markets in Asia Pacific on Tuesday. The energy sector dragged on Australia’s S&P/ASX 200, which was down 0.6 per cent, while the Hang Seng index shed 1 per cent in Hong Kong. The Topix index in Japan shrugged off the fall for energy stocks to rise 1.2 per cent. Brent crude was trading 0.4 per cent higher at $72.15 in Asian afternoon trading and West Texas Intermediate was flat at $68.05 a barrel.

Futures tip the FTSE 100 to open 0.2 per cent higher while the S&P 500 is set to open up 0.1 per cent.

Corporate earnings and updates for Tuesday include Galliford TryPetropavlovsk, Royal Mail and TalkTalk Telecom Group. The economic calendar has a definite theme (all times London):

  • 07.00: Germany car registrations
  • 07.00: France car registrations
  • 07.00: UK car registrations
  • 07.00: Italy car registrations
  • 09.30: UK unemployment

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