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Market Wire: Euro Tumbles as Russia Confirms Political Motivations for Gas Shutdown

European natural gas prices jumped more than 35 percent and the euro slid this morning after the Kremlin appeared to confirm that gas flows through the Nord Stream 1 pipeline would not resume until Western sanctions were lifted. The Financial Times and the Interfax news agency quoted Russian press secretary Dmitry Peskov saying, “The problems pumping gas came about because of the sanctions western countries introduced against our country and several companies. There are no other reasons that could have caused this pumping problem”.

Russian energy giant Gazprom had previously claimed increasingly-frequent shutdowns were technical issues, resulting from an inability to repair turbines in Canada.

The euro briefly fell below the 99-cent mark, but is now grinding higher – suggesting that traders were well-prepared, with a full winter shutdown largely priced in ahead of Mr. Peskov’s words.

Separately, Foreign Secretary Liz Truss won the race to succeed Boris Johnson as the United Kingdom’s next Prime Minister. Truss has proposed a series of tax cuts and market interventions to shelter households against October’s potentially-catastrophic rise in energy prices. After falling almost 15 percent this year on a darkening economic outlook, the pound was little changed.

Karl Schamotta, Chief Market Strategist

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