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Europe’s energy crisis intensified as the risk of war pushed up gas prices, power-plant halts were extended and the French government asked its biggest utility to take a €6bn (about R105bn) hit to protect consumers.

Power and gas prices surged on Friday with the prospect of military action in Ukraine increasing as geopolitical tensions escalated. Meanwhile, nuclear giant Electricite de France (EDF) sank the most on record after the government said it must sell power at a steep discount, and several reactors faced long outages...

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