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LONDON: European and UK gas prices surged Wednesday to record peaks, energised by fears of runaway demand in the upcoming northern hemisphere winter.

Europe’s reference Dutch TTF gas price hit 162.12 euros per megawatt hour and UK prices leapt to 407.82 pence per therm in morning deals.

However, prices later erased gains to flatline in early afternoon trade.

“It’s panic and fear with winter just around the corner,” Commerzbank analyst Carsten Fritsch told AFP.

UK vows to manage implications of soaring gas prices

Soaring gas prices — coupled with oil which has struck multi-year highs — have fuelled fears over spiking inflation and rocketing domestic energy bills.

Gas demand is also heightened in Asia, particularly from China, while key Russian exports are falling.

However, Russian President Vladimir Putin declared Wednesday that Europe was to blame for the current energy crisis, after soaring gas prices spurred accusations that Moscow is withholding supplies to pressure the West.

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