Europe gas prices rocket after Russia halts flows

STORY: European gas prices rocketed higher again on Monday (September 5).

They were up as much as 30% in early trade.

The jump came after Russia shut off supplies via the key Nord Stream 1 pipeline.

It says it’s found a leak that will put the facility out of use until further notice.

Europe says Moscow is just weaponising energy supplies in retaliation for Western sanctions.

Nord Stream 1 used to transport about a third of the Russian gas exported to Europe, though it’s recently been running at just a fifth of its usual capacity.

Russian gas supplies via Ukraine, another major route, have also been reduced.

It all leaves Europe scrambling to find alternative sources before winter.

Several states have triggered emergency plans that could lead to energy rationing.

Germany is working fast to open new gas import terminals, while Norway - a major European producer - is pumping more.

Even so, experts say it could be hard for the region to find sufficient supplies when winter sets in.

It all leaves EU members looking for ways to rein in soaring prices that could leave millions facing financial hardship.

On Monday the mounting energy crisis also rocked broader markets.

The euro sank below 99 cents to the dollar for the first time in 20 years, with sterling also tumbling.