Weekly Digest: Russia’s Gas Cutoff, Musk’s Twitter Deal


4 minutes read

Apr 28, 2022

Russia said it will cut off gas supplies to Poland and Bulgaria as part of a major standoff with the European Union over the war in Ukraine.

28/4/22: Russia halts gas supplies to Poland and Bulgaria, the Fed is set for more aggressive rate hikes to tame inflation, Musk seals the deal to buy Twitter. And more.

Investment news

The gold price fell to a 10-week low on Thursday, as a stronger U.S. dollar hurt demand for the metal, while an impending Fed interest rate hike also dented gold’s appeal as an inflation hedge.

Here’s how the prices of gold, silver, platinum and palladium have changed over the past week:

A table showing how the prices of gold, silver, platinum and palladium have changed over the past week.

Nasdaq tumbled to its lowest since December 2020 on Wednesday as investors worried about slowing global growth and a more aggressive Fed. (Reuters)

The tech-heavy index has now dropped 22% from its record high close last November.

It’s not going to be easy. Fed chair Jerome Powell said taming inflation is “absolutely essential” and stressed that aggressive rate hikes are possible as soon as next month. (CNBC)

“Our goal is to use our tools to get demand and supply back in synch so that inflation moves down and does so without a slowdown that amounts to a recession,” Powell said.

Read our SPOTLIGHT to see what the looming risk of a recession could mean for investors.

ALT: Jerome Powell speaking at a presser as Fed is set for more aggressive rate hikes to tame inflation

Euro drops to a five-year low on Russian energy supply and economic slowdown fears. (CNBC)

The EU’s official currency dipped below $1.06 for the first time since 2017.

“Reasons for this weakness are the weak economic prospects for the eurozone and huge differences in monetary policy reactions in the US and the eurozone,” Carsten Brzeski, chief economist at ING Germany, said.

A match made in haven: Twitter’s board accepted Elon Musk’s offer to buy the social media company and take it private. (CNBC)

“Free speech is the bedrock of a functioning democracy, and Twitter is the digital town square where matters vital to the future of humanity are debated,” Musk said in a statement included in the press release announcing the $44 billion deal.

ALT: Elon Musk sealing a deal to buy Twitter represented by a picture of a mobile phone screen with Twitter and Tesla apps

Gold is money: With U.S. inflation running at its highest levels in four decades, Utah business owner Steve Allred started to accept some forms of gold as payment in three of his hardware stores. (Reuters)

Allred began accepting Goldbacks at his stores around three months ago. This money is infused with particles of gold and is available in denominations ranging from 1, which is 1/1,000th of an ounce of gold, to 50, which is 1/20th of an ounce.

The dollar has lost around 86% of its purchasing power since 1971, according to U.S. government data. Gold prices have increased from around $40 per ounce to $1,900 during this time.

Read our SPOTLIGHT to find out how much value other leading currencies have lost against gold over the past 20 years.


There’s one way Putin could make the war in Ukraine get worse. And it's pretty scary. (Bloomberg Opinion)

“This is where the horrifying escalation scenarios start. Putin could use chemical or even tactical (meaning low-yield) nuclear weapons, at Azovstal [a factory in Ukraine] or elsewhere. That would end any particular battle on his terms. It would also signal that he’s prepared to raise the stakes to the existential level — including nuclear war,” writes Bloomberg’s Andreas Kluth.

What else is happening

🇫🇷 Emmanuel Macron wins the French presidential election. This victory makes him the first French president in 20 years to win a second term. (Le Monde)

Emmanuel Macron elected for the 2nd term of the French presidency

Photo credit: Soazig de la Moissonnière / DILA-La Documentation française

France's incumbent president was reelected on Sunday, April 24, with 58.5% of the votes compared to 41.5% for his rival, far-right candidate Marine Le Pen.

Gas cutoffs: Russia halts gas supplies to Poland and Bulgaria as part of the major standoff with Europe over the war in Ukraine. (Reuters)

The move comes weeks after Moscow demanded that the so-called “unfriendly” countries pay for the Russian gas in rubles. The EU has rejected the move in principle, but now that payment deadlines are starting to fall due, the EU risks losing crucial supplies and faces the prospect of energy rationing.

According to a person close to Gazprom, four European gas buyers have already paid for supplies in rubles.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov warned of a “serious” risk of nuclear war over Ukraine. The U.S. blasted the statement as the “height of irresponsibility.” (Bloomberg)

“The danger is serious, real. It can’t be underestimated,” Lavrov said in a state TV interview broadcast.

U.S. State Department spokesman Ned Price said Lavrov’s comments were part of a “pattern of bellicose statements” from Russia, which he said were “irresponsible” and “a clear attempt to distract from its failure in Ukraine.”

And finally…

🐶 Retriever puppy digs up sovereign coins worth £6,000 ($7,520) on his first walk. (Telegraph)

ALT: Retriever puppy after finding $7,000 worth of gold coins

The dog is a lagotto romagnolo – a type of water retriever which is notorious for digging, especially for truffles. And apparently now gold.


See you next week!


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