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European natural gas traders are betting Russia's economy can't afford to lose more than $100 billion if the crisis in Ukraine escalates, reducing the odds of a long-lasting supply cut to the former Soviet nation.Next-month gas in the U.K., Europe's biggest market, fell 19 percent since Russia invaded Crimea in February and tumbled last week to the lowest since 2010, while day-ahead fuel traded Wednesday near its cheapest since October 2011 . The 60-day historical volatility, a measure of price swings, dropped Tuesday even as OAO Gazprom billed Ukraine for 114 million cubic meters of gas a day in June, or about $1.66 billion, assuming a price of $485 a thousand cubic meters charged since April.Europe can cope with a Ukrainian supply disruption for 90 days provided there are "reasonably high" inventories, cooperation between member states and normal flows of Russian gas through routes other than Ukraine, consultant Poeyry Oyj said in an emailed report last week.European gas prices will probably keep falling over the next month or two barring any real disruptions to supplies, Milan Hedstrom, a Vienna-based self-employed gas trader who has been buying and selling commodities for 10 years, said Tuesday by email.
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