The daily business briefing: July 21, 2022

Heat wave pushes natural gas prices higher, the E.U. tells members to cut gas use as Russia resumes reduced flows through key pipeline, and more

Londoners cool off amid heat wave
(Image credit: Rasid Necati Aslim/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

1. Heat wave pushes up price of natural gas

Natural gas futures jumped 10 percent on Wednesday as utilities struggled to produce enough electricity to keep up with demand while Americans crank up air conditioners during some of the hottest weather on record. "The entire country is running their air conditioners," said Eli Rubin, senior analyst at the energy consultant EBW Analytics. Natural gas futures have risen 48 percent this month, reversing last month's decline. Commodity prices had started falling, raising hopes of containing a key driver of inflation, but the heat wave, which is affecting more than 100 million Americans, is pushing prices for raw materials back up and increasing cost pressures again.

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