Prices on natural gas in Europe continued rising at auctions on March 7. According to the ICE exchange, the cost of April futures at the European TTF hub in the Netherlands exceeded $3,700 and then rose to $3,800 per 1,000 cubic meters.
Demand for energy has risen due to increased geopolitical tensions, fears of supply disruptions and the imposition of tough US and EU sanctions against Russia, such as disconnecting the country from SWIFT and banning operations related to the management of the reserves and assets of the Russian Central Bank.
Meanwhile, gold prices have exceeded the level of $2,000 per ounce as investors prefer to avoid risks due to aggravated geopolitical tensions. As of March 7, gold futures on the COMEX commodity exchange reached $2,005.2 per ounce. Spot gold prices reached their highest level since August 19, 2020 — $2,000.69.
In addition, amid the fears of disrupting supplies, the price of palladium soared to an all-time high — $3,177 as of the morning of March 7. Russia accounts for 40 percent of the world's production of palladium. The metal is used by automakers in catalysts to reduce hydrocarbon emissions.
According to the World Gold Council, global investment demand for gold fell by 43 percent in late 2021, to 1,007 tons. This happened despite the fact that the demand for gold bars and coins rose by 31 percent over the year and reached an eight-year high of 1,180 tons.
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz sharply commented on the remarks from the leader of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) of Germany