Oil prices slipped to around $108 (£64.9) a barrel today as an “unexpected fall” in Chinese exports stoked fears that the world’s second largest economy is slowing, according to the daily market report.
It is however seeing some support from escalating tensions in Libya, with the Libyan Government “threatening to take action on a North Korean ship which is stocked up with oil from a protest-deceased port”, Client Portfolio Manager Sarah Marshall said.
Looking at the gas system, she added: “We’re seeing a comfortable gas system this morning with the line pack currently forecast to close at around 9mcm long.”
That is due to milder temperatures as demand dropped to around 14% below seasonal normal levels, she said. Despite that however, gas prices have seen some support this morning with near term contracts around 0.7 pence a therm higher.
Ms Marshall went on: “This comes as tensions between Russia and Ukraine stepped up over the weekend, with Gazprom threatening to cut supplies to Ukraine unless they pay their outstanding debt of around $1.89 billion (£1.14bn). Gazprom has also cancelled some preferential tariff rates that were previously offered to Ukraine.
“This is seeing support on the gas contracts and also feeding through to some extent on the power contracts.”
Strong Euro against the Pound is also lending some support today, she said.