What’s happening: Global markets are stumbling Tuesday as energy prices soar. One big problem has been shortages of natural gas, triggered by low stocks and a jump in demand as activity recovers from its Covid-19 lull.

Wholesale natural gas prices in Europe hit fresh records on Monday and continue to rally Tuesday, according to Tom Marzec-Manser at market intelligence firm ICIS. In the United States, natural gas futures have also jumped, surpassing levels last hit in 2014, when temperatures plunged across much of the country.
China is contending with a worsening energy situation, too, as it tries to reduce its reliance on coal just as demand for domestic-made goods is swelling. Companies in the country’s industrial heartlands have been told to limit their energy consumption, according to state media, while supply has also been cut to some homes — reportedly trapping people in elevators.

Asia is now “scrambling” to secure natural gas…

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