EU to Discuss Urgent Interventions as Energy Crisis Escalates; Euro Nears 20-Year Low

European nations to discuss urgent bloc-wide measures this week to respond to a spike in energy prices, including natural gas price caps and a halt of power derivatives trading, after Russia closed indefinitely its main gas supply pipeline to Europe.

A draft document, seen by multiple foreign media outlets, said European Union countries’ energy ministers are set to include those tools on a list of emergency intervention options to be discussed at a meeting  on Friday (September 9), as the bloc races to respond to the deepening crisis.

On Saturday (September 3), Russia’s state-owned Gazprom decided at the last minute not to restart the key Nord Stream pipeline following maintenance. Russia’s latest move to cut off supply is expected to drive natural gas prices toward record highs not only in Europe, but also in Asia.

As the European energy crisis continues to deepen, the euro fell as low as 99.04 US cents on Monday. This is slightly above the August level of 99.01 cents, the lowest since December 2002.

Over the weekend, the German government approved a €40 billion consumer aid package to mitigate the energy price spike as supplies from Russia dwindled. The package includes a one-time payment of 300 euros to millions of pensioners to help them cover rising energy bills.

The U.S. dollar index hit a new two-decade high, briefly topping 110 on Monday.