UK and European stock markets slipped further today as tensions rose between the West and Russia and reports of the deployment of 20,00 Russian troops stoked fears that things could escalate dramatically in the next few days. Nato reported that the troops are at battle readiness and backed by heavy vehicles marked with peace-keeping labels indicating that an invasion would come in the guise of a humanitarian mission. The Kremlin also announced a full embargo on food imports from the EU and USA. News of Italy slumping back into recession with Q2 GDP falling 0.2% against expectations of +0.1% growth. Q1 GDP was -0.1% and there is a growing feeling that recovery will be severely hampered if relations between the EU and Russia worsen.