The recent sideways movement continued in the NBP gas markets on Friday with early gains being pared back or reversed by the close of play. The front month, May, settled 049p up at 96.09p to bring the week’s decline to 2.37p. The front winter contract was almost flat at 143.72p on Friday while over the week the contract fell by 3.79p. Prompt prices began the day higher with forecasts for cooler temperatures for the start of the week combining with low wind generation, but gains were modest as the day ahead settled 1.53p up while the contract for the balance of month settled down 0.30p.
The sideways movement in the NBP futures market was evident in the baseload power market on Friday too. Near futures settled mixed with May falling by £0.75/MWh while the June contract was £0.10/MWh higher. A sharp fall in carbon weighed on the longer curve with the Dec-23 contract for EUAs declining by €1.90 per tonne to €89.85/MWh. Forecast for wind generation to drop below seasonal norms for the start of the week provided some support to the prompt with the day ahead contract settling £1.25/MWh higher at £103.00/MWh.
Brent crude settled 56 cents a barrel higher on Friday but ended the week lower as the rebound in prices since the surprise cuts announcement at the start of April by OPEC+ has been reversed. Rising demand in China led to the gains on Friday but economic uncertainty and the prospect of further interest rate increases hang over the market. U.S. demand concerns have grown with the latest employment figures along with retail and manufacturing data point to a downturn. Processing in India, the world’s third largest crude oil consumer stayed near record highs during March with demand remaining constant there.
Markets this morning
Early trading at the start of the week has been mixed with near months opening slightly firmer but latest trades are below Friday’s close. The May contract last exchanged at 94.50p, down 1.59p while the winter contract is 2.22p lower at 141.50p. Prompt prices are also in retreat, but losses are marginal with the day ahead just over a half a penny down at 97.50p. Crude oil prices have also flipped between gains and losses and the June contract for Brent is 27 cents down at $81.39 a barrel.