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This week began with some weakness on the near-side as the recent cold snap appeared to come to an end. March-21 opened the week £1.25/MWh down on Friday’s close at £51.75/MWh as temperatures were forecast milder and imports were strong. A touch of bullishness came in on the Tuesday and Wednesday as March approached delivery and buying activity increased. Wind generation was fairly strong over the week, peaking over 10GW on Wednesday before reducing on Thursday and Friday. Near-side power generally followed the gas market for the most part, but saw something of a decoupling in the latter stages of the week as forecasts for wind generation decreased. The Front-Month contract reached a peak of £53.75/MWh on Thursday before giving back some value on the final trading day to finish at £52.75/MWh. The front season on power followed the near-side closely over the week, posting losses followed by some strength mid-week and giving up some value late-on. Further out on the power curve prices also began the week down on the close, but instead of giving back their mid-week gains managed to hold onto strength to end Friday’s trading session roughly flat.
Near-side gas generally traded within a narrow range over the week, with less than 1.5p/th difference between the within-week peak and low for March-21. As with power, the week began with losses as mild weather provided pressure – the front month contract opening on Monday down 1.35p/th at 40.75p/th. The contract lost further ground during the day to reach 39.8p/th at it lowest point. Support soon came as the mid-term weather forecasts were revised a touch cooler however and there were reports that LNG tankers were struggling to dock at UK ports due to adverse weather. While the weather issue abated fairly quickly, the near-side did not give back its slight gains straight away as reports that a vessel bound for the UK was also announced to be stopping on the continent fuelled concern over LNG diversions. Friday saw a slight retracement of the gains to bring the March-21 contract to end the week at 40.40p/th. Seasonal gas took some influence from the near-side to open the week lower, but also felt pressure from a falling carbon price to see Summer-21 end the week down at 38.25p/th.
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