MarketMinder

Headlines

Here we analyze a selection of third-party news articles—both those we agree and disagree with.

Please note: Though we make every effort to source articles from freely available sites, we will also regularly include articles on sites that have limited content for non-subscribers. Doing so is increasingly unavoidable, as more and more financial media is published behind paywalls.


Germany Suspends Approval of the Nord Stream 2 Pipeline, Sending Gas Prices Soaring

MarketMinder’s View: Germany, which previously signaled it was ready to move forward with the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, announced it needed some more paperwork before it could give the green light—likely delaying the start of gas flows to spring at the earliest. European benchmark natural gas prices jumped on the news, which followed Russia’s reported troop buildups along the Ukrainian border and a standoff with Russia and Belarus over the latest migration crisis. In our view, natural gas prices’ jump is likely part of the sentiment reaction to geopolitical tensions, which often trigger volatility as they escalate. Additionally, the delay likely extends pressure on Europe’s already-tight natural gas market, as Nord Stream 2 is likely necessary to alleviate the energy crunch given existing pipelines’ limited import capacity. So, this isn’t great news. But even with today’s volatility, Dutch TTF gas prices are still about -20% off last month’s peak as we write (per FactSet), and the energy crunch is a known factor to markets. It is an economic headwind but likely not an insurmountable one. For more, see our recent commentaries, “Inside the Global Energy Price Spike” and “The Great Electricity Shock: Manufacturing Edition.”