With the US stock markets closed for President’s day European stock markets were down on Monday due to fears of an imminent invasion of Ukraine by Russia.
The Euronext 100, France’s CAC 40 and Germany’s Dax were all hovering around 2% losses in late afternoon trading as tensions rise on the Ukraine-Russia border amid contested claims surrounding the death of what the Kremlin claims were five “Ukrainian saboteurs.”
According to data from the European Union Agency for the Cooperation of Energy Regulators Germany imports approximately 50% of its natural gas from Russia, Italy approximately 45% and France 25%. North Macedonia, Finland, Bulgaria and Slovakia are also highly dependent on Russian gas. In total about 36% of the Europe’s natural gas comes from Russia.
The US government has said it will assist European governments find alternative gas supplies in case Russia chooses to shut down supplies to Europe potentially causing a ripple effect in world markets.
However sources within the natural gas trading sector consider a shutdown unlikely.
“If Russia proactively cuts off the gas, it would be very difficult for a German utility to say, ‘we want to sign another 10-year contract with a Russian counterparty’,” told Tom Marzec-Manser to Al Jazeera. “That is precisely why Russia cutting off gas is extremely unlikely. It damages their own business and reputation in the medium and long term.”