Nearside prices initially firmed, which traders attributed to a narrowing of spreads following a tightening of both bids and
offers, rather than any concerted buying interest.
Day-ahead traded down from 15.80-15.85 p/th to around 15.50-15.60 p/th, as Zeebrugge prices came under pressure from a balanced system at the NBP. Weekend is currently priced only a touch below Day-ahead at around 15.45 p/th, due to the drop in temperatures expected over the coming days and traders say the contract is likely to maintain this level until Friday.
In general, continental players have reportedly already covered their supply commitments for the coming weeks, and unless there is an unexpected supply problem or sharp rise in demand, trading volumes in the Working-Days-Next-Week and Balance-Of-Month contracts are expected to continue to be very low.
However, price levels are more difficult to predict, say traders, suggesting that the present low level of liquidity in the periods could produce large price movements as a result of a relatively small number of bids and offers. In the curve, the front months came under pressure from a softening of prices at the NBP amid thin demand from the continent.
Overall, participants predict that curve prices will remain rangebound over the coming weeks, as there are currently few players in the market, due to the holiday period, and those who are at their desks are reluctant to take up new positions.
At the Dutch TTF, participants reported an active session, as one major player returned to the market. Strong discussion was noted in both the prompt and curve, with a Weekend parcel covering the long weekend (15-17th August) in many parts of Europe changing hands at EUR 7.90/MWh. This is around EUR 0.50/MWh above the price level witnessed for the previous weekend, which traders attribute partly to the downturn in temperatures forecast at the end of the week.
The curve once again produced a number of deals, as market opinion remains divided over the future direction of longer-dated periods. While some sellers are engaging in profit taking in the front quarters, others are looking to buy, prompted by uncertainty as to whether these contracts have peaked.
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Gas - Zeebrugge a touch lower in thin market
Mittwoch, 13.08.2003, 08:32 Uhr