Financial markets are highly focused on the development in Russia and the Ukraine this morning, with the shutting down of the NordStream 1 pipeline the big market driver.
The euro currency has dived on fears about an indefinite closure of the pipeline. Russia’s state gas company Gazprom announced on Friday after an oil leak, with no indication of when it might reopen.
Basically, Nordstream 1 had been shut off for three days, reportedly for maintenance work, and had been due to restart on Saturday. But the pipeline was not restarted, and this is driving extreme market fear.
Moscow’s move came hours after G7 finance ministers agreed to impose a price cap on aimed at lowering revenues for Moscow’s war in Ukraine. This is now being seen as retaliation by Russian leaders, and the market is utterly spooked.
Nordstream 1 is the main pipeline supplying Europe, and Germany is its top buyer. Russia is western Europe’s biggest single supplier of gas, so this is why we are seeing the current moves in the euro and German stocks today.
Europe had already been suffering by crippling rises in natural gas prices and feared how it could get past the winter with the already 300 percent increases.
Naturally, with today’s move we are seen a flight in the safety of the greenback, and risk-on asset classes are especially starting get hammered lower.
Basically, the pipeline opened in 2011 and runs 745 miles from St Petersburg under the Baltic Sea to Lubmin near Greifswald in Germany.
Overall, today’s red is unlikely to reverse unless we see Nord Stream 1 re-opening. I suspect the current moves will stick around and the markets fears will grow, EU energy ministers are due to meet in an emergency session in Brussels on Friday, 9 September, as the 27-nation bloc discusses reducing its dependence on Russian oil and gas supplies.