(31 December 2019)DAILY MARKET BRIEF 1:Germany Calls for European Firewall Against U.S. Sanctions

German politicians have called on Europe to adopt protective measures against U.S. sanctions after Washington managed to halt completion of a new submarine gas pipeline linking Russia directly to Germany. The bipartisan U.S. move initiated by Congress last week threatened sanctions against companies working on completing Nord Stream 2, Europe’s biggest energy-infrastructure project, which the U.S. and some European countries fear could give Russia some control over the continent’s energy supplies and boost revenues for an increasingly belligerent Kremlin. The move prompted Swiss pipe-laying company Allseas Group S.A. to stop work on the $10 billion pipeline, just weeks from completion. The pipe would double direct gas shipments to Germany by Russian’s state-owned gas giant PAO Gazprom. Despite announcement of the stoppage, Russian energy minister Alexander Novak told a state-owned press agency that only 160 km, or the underwater part of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, remained to be comple