14th February 2013 | Posted by: Daniel Birkett | Market Analysis

Yesterday's comfortable UK gas system helped to push Day-Ahead prices a little lower. Despite this, ICE March 2013 prices closed higher at 66.470ppt; which could have been down to the UK Met Office comments regarding colder-than-average temperatures for the first fourteen days of March. Higher temperatures should help UK NTS demand push lower today, which could drive NBP Day-Ahead prices lower still. With warmer temperatures expected over the next few days, we could see some pressure on Week-Ahead prices today. Weak wind production in Germany, though, will continue to limit any falls.

How did the energy markets close?

NBP contracts were stronger yesterday as a result of a weaker Pound against the Euro, with S-13 and W-13 both adding 0.15ppt to the values they opened on. Strong Brent Crude oil also provided a supporting hand to prices on the far curve. Day-Ahead gas saw a gain of 0.45ppt following strong imports from Belgium and the Netherlands. Power's Front-Month March spark spread was weak yesterday, as the contract gained £0.30/MWh compared to its gas counterpart, which gained 0.35ppt. Day-Ahead Power climbed just £0.15/MWh despite good supply-side news that two coal-fired plants were due to restart today along with news of higher temperatures and lower heating demand.

How did the energy markets open?

S-13 gas soared to a new high of 64.85ppt following news that oil demand is rising this morning. At the same time, prompt gas price also made movements - as Front-Month gained more than 0.5ppt to hit a monthly-high of 67ppt. This comes on the back of more supply concerns as well as a weakening pound against the euro; which has made imports of continental gas more costly. Power's S-13 climbed £0.35/MWh, opening at £49.85/MWh. On top of this, carbon allowance prices rose as the EUA spot price crept above the €5.00/tn mark. This could have been down to an overall rise in energy prices. Day-Ahead opened higher at £49.65/MWh, following the path of its gas counterpart.

1-year forward prices

Yesterday's market close data revealed a rise for both 1-year forward prices of commercial gas and commercial electricity - now standing at 67.82ppt and £51.98 respectively.

Latest Brent Crude Oil prices

Brent April prices saw some fluctuation during yesterday's session, with Brent April prices moving up to $118.27 before dropping a little. The IEA monthly report revealed that world demand growth was down, contrary to what IEA and OPEC originally reported. This is down to a downward revision of the IMF forecast for world economic growth. The EIA report didn't have a huge impact on Crude oil prices. Overall stocks saw an unexpected drop of 7.4 Mb, compared to a drop of just 4 Mb last year. Note: Brent Crude prices are taken from opening market data, and do not represent the price as it changes throughout the day.