Putin “wants to scare the hell out of us,” Boris Johnson tells leaders in Davos

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There were standing room only when Boris Johnson spoke this morning at a breakfast meeting at the World Economic Forum in Davos.

The former prime minister insisted that Vladimir Putin was not taking the threat of nuclear war seriously during the session virtually attended by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.

Mr Johnson said a nuclear switch would turn the Chinese and Russian populations against him.

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What happened from one day to the next

Asian stocks opened lower on Thursday as concerns about economic growth overshadowed optimism that central banks will ease policy tightening.

Hong Kong equities led to declines, with notable weakness in technology companies, and Japanese equities were also markedly lower. Futures for the S&P 500 fell after the benchmark closed 1.6 percent on Wednesday, the biggest drop in a month.

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Shares in Tokyo also fell, with the Nikkei 225 index falling 1.10 percent to 26,495.26 in early trading and the broader Topix index losing 0.90 percent to 1,917.52.

The dollar stood at 128.41 yen and fell from 128.80 yen in New York overnight.

Meanwhile, New Zealand stocks are largely shaking news that Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern will step down next month, falling just 0.1 percent.