24th January 2014 | Posted by: Daniel Birkett | Market Analysis

Uncertainty over the continuing strike at France's thermal facilities, alongside colder weather forecasted for the next week, has contributed to higher week-ahead contracts. Stable supply, together with sustained low demand, meant that gas prices edged lower again yesterday. For the first time this week the UK system opened short today, as a result of reduced BBL flows and lower storage withdrawal proposals. It is thought this may aide the rebound of NBP day-ahead prices. Today's prices can also be found in an easy to read table on our 'current UK energy price' page.

How did the energy markets close?

Day-Ahead and Front-month gas contracts both closed flat yesterday whilst Brent also displayed a similar lack of incentive, seeing only a minor movement of $0.33/bbl. Flows from Langeled and BBL remained fairly high, with Linepack sustaining flows of at least 7mcm long across the course of the trading day. Day-Ahead power closed at a £0.80/MWh discount while February-14 moved down by £0.15/MWh in spite of updated forecasts for colder temperatures next week. Whilst near curve contracts turned bearish, there was some mixed sentiment across other contracts with Summer-14 rising by £0.05/MWh.

How did the energy markets open?

Day-ahead gas has opened at a 1.40ppt premium on the back of the short system. As temperatures are now forecast to drop below seasonal norms in February, Front-Month prices saw bullish revisions, gaining 0.65ppt this morning. Gains on the curve were constrained by Brent Crude shedding $0.28/bbl from its price. At market opening, movement on the power curve echoed the sentiment of the gas curve. Day-Ahead contracts rose by 0.40ppt despite higher forecasted wind generation. Alongside this, higher peak power demand is projected.

1-year forward prices

Market close data has revealed that the 1-year forward price for both commercial gas & commercial electricity decreased - closing at 66.20ppt and £51.75/MWh, respectively. This can be seen in the graph below. Note: Brent Crude prices are taken from opening market data, and do not represent the price as it changes throughout the day.

Latest Brent Crude Prices

Brent 1st-nearby prices weakened yesterday, sinking back to $107.6/b and remaining around that level this morning. WTI continued its rise the for fourth session in a row today, with the spread briefly reaching a two and a half month high of -$10/b.