Gold slipped earlier in the week as investors and governments continued to assess the crisis in Ukraine. Fast forward to now and Russian forces and Vladimir Putin have followed through on their threats. We are witnessing a full scale military assault across the whole of Ukraine.
Investors piled into safe-haven assets and equity markets globally tumbled into the red. Oil and soft commodity prices spiked across the board which saw Brent crude surpass $100 for the first time since 2014. Unprecedented times and for those in Ukraine the beginning of a nightmare situation that they had little if not anything to do with. A conflict that has been stewing over the last 8 years.
To give a bit of modern context the Russo-Ukrainian War is an ongoing armed conflict that began in February 2014, primarily involving Russia and pro-Russian forces on one hand, and Ukraine on the other. The conflict was initially centred around the status of Crimea and parts of the Donbas, which are internationally recognised as part of Ukraine. The sovereignty of Ukraine being a threat to Putin before the invasion began. The head of Russia went on TV declaring that Russia could not feel “safe, develop and exist” because of what he called a constant threat from modern Ukraine.
A call to arms and marshall law has been declared in Ukraine and heavy sanction from western countries have been applied. Those being targeted are political figures, banks and Putins close associates. High profile Russians around the world face the prospect and reality of having their assets frozen along with being restricted from trading or accessing financial markets in the west. Ukrainian citizens are fleeing to nearby countries and trying to avoid being caught up in a conflict they did not ask for. The Ukrainian army is now forced to defend its country along with the prime minister who is said to be the number 1 target at this moment in time. Made up of servicemen and women who have been involved in this conflict for years now joined by regular citizens who feel it’s their duty to take up arms.
The question in the coming days is will there be any form of military intervention from western countries? Currently this does not seem like an option favoured by most heads of state around the world but will sanctions be enough to deter Russia from its ultimate goal?
How will Russia’s assault on Ukraine affect UK gas supplies?
Gas is already in tight supply globally and has reached record market price highs in recent months based on a variety of factors. Here in the UK this has triggered an energy crisis which has lead to the collapse of multiple electricity suppliers. A rise in household gas and electricity bills has contributed to a growing cost of living for the average UK citizen and where will it end?
Russia began its assault earlier in the week on Ukraine and prices rose again. The UK benchmark was up 32% to 281p per therm on Thursday. One analyst predicted UK household energy bills could surge past £3000 later this year and with no real communication from big energy suppliers this is worrying a lot of people. Could Europe’s energy crisis become a catastrophe?
“We must collectively cease the dependence on Russian oil and gas that for too long has given Putin his grip on western politics,” Boris Johnson said on Thursday.
Just before everyone starts lighting candles at home and turning off the lights there is some good news. With only 5% of our gas coming from Russian imports this makes for easier reading and should give the public some comfort. About half comes from vast, though rapidly decreasing, North Sea reserves. Approximately another third is sourced from Norway, while the rest comes in via pipelines connecting the UK to Europe.
In short savers and investors are taking action and 2022 will continue with the reality of the cost of living becoming higher and general uncertainty around global affairs.
Safe guarding your wealth is just one of the many things relevant at this time and to ensure you get the best information and suggestions enquire today and start your journey with us. Bullion House are here to provide members of the public with relevant information surrounding global events that impact precious metals prices. Political decisions like the invasion of Ukraine have been felt around the world and will continue to be felt in the coming months and years. History tells us that gold has been used and continues to be used as one of the best forms of wealth protection. High inflation rates and economic uncertainty are just a few reasons why people turn to gold time and time again.