Soaring energy prices caused alarm among European leaders and sent shivers through global markets on Wednesday, raising concerns of a winter fuel crisis that could play into the hands of gas-rich Russia.
U.S. oil prices briefly touched their highest in almost seven years and natural gas prices were at record levels as China and other big consumers struggle to cope with demand that has bounced back more quickly than expected from the COVID-19 downturn.
In Europe, natural gas prices have rocketed almost 600% this year on worries that current low storage levels will be insufficient for the winter. While in the United States, natural gas futures recently hit 12-year-highs.
Uncertainty over whether surging energy prices will spur inflation and interest rate rises hit global equity markets and bonds in Europe, particularly Britain, where several energy companies have collapsed as a result of the price surge.
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