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Economic Data (USA)

Monday, January 02, 2006

New York Markets and Exchanges Closed Today

All New York markets and exchanges are closed today in observance of the New Year's Day holiday. Markets will open for business as usual tomorrow morning.

Gazprom and Europe

The fight between Russia and The Ukraine over natural gas is heating up. Gazprom, Russia's state-owned natural gas company, wants to raise the price they're charging for supplying gas to The Ukraine. Ukraine doesn't want to pay what the Russians are asking for, so the Russians are now following through on threats to cutoff gas supplies to The Ukraine.

And now the rest of Europe is caught in the crossfire of this fight. Countries that buy natural gas from Gazprom--Italy, France and Austria to name a few--are now experiencing gas shortages, as the pipelines that carry natural gas to these nations runs through The Ukraine: cutoff the Russian supply of natural gas to The Ukraine, and the Russian supply to the rest of Europe gets cut off as well.

If the disagreement over gas prices continues and the Russians shutdown the supply of natural gas for 4 days or more, the pipelines will lose pressure, and if that happens, the system will take weeks to get back online.

During 2005, the price for natural gas had been rising for European customers. Prices should continue to rise--and perhaps skyrocket--if this spat continues.

Gazprom supplies more natural gas than any other gas company in the world.

Happy trading and investing to all in 2006!




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