19th March 2013 | Posted by: Daniel Birkett | Market Analysis

Higher-than-expected demand helped to push European spot and near curve gas prices upwards yesterday. Today, however, we're expecting UK NTS demand to remain fairly steady. It's important to note that the system will need the help of storage withdrawals in order to balance today. Meanwhile, colder weather and lower wind output from Germany helped to support European spot power prices. Out on the far curve, we saw mixed prices - supported by higher gas prices.

How did the energy markets close?

Front-Month gas dropped a little during the day - which could be a result of long-range weather forecasts predicting warmer weather. At the same time, Day-Ahead dropped 2.65ppt following increased levels of confidence in Norwegian Langeled flows. In terms of power, Day-Ahead dropped a little on the back of an increase in wind generation; falling £0.25/MWh. However, any further drops were held back by a cut in the French interconnector capacity and a handful of plant shutdowns.

How did the energy markets open?

Positive data regarding the US economy helped to push Front-Month Brent towards the $110/bbl mark this morning. This, as can be expected, sent gas prices moving - with S-13 opening up at 66.2ppt and Day-Ahead opening at 83.9ppt. Worryingly, the UK is still relying on continental imports; with storage levels staying at around 12%. Power's Front-Month added £0.60/MWh to its closing price, following its gas counterpart. Out on the far curve, S-13 and W-13 both crept up - which is largely down to rising Brent.

1-year forward prices

Market close data has revealed that 1-year forward prices for commercial gas and commercial electricity both suffered a loss - closing at 68.81ppt and £52.53 respectively. This drop can be seen in the graph below.

Latest Brent Crude Oil prices

Yesterday saw a drop in Brent Crude prices (to $107.78/bbl) as a result of the uncertainty in Cyprus. However, prices recovered during the session and closed only a little lower than opening levels. Today's focus remains on Cyprus' parliament vote, as well as a ZEW survey and an API report. These will be discussed in tomorrow's energy market analysis if appropriate. Note: Brent Crude prices are taken from opening market data, and do not represent the price as it changes throughout the day.