EUROPE GAS-Prices ease as EU leaders meet to discuss possible price cap

In Europe

Oct 7 (Reuters) – Dutch wholesale gas prices fell on Friday morning ahead of a meeting of European Union leaders in Prague to discuss whether and how to put a cap on high gas prices in Europe.

The Dutch November gas price was down 8.15 euros at 163.35 euros per megawatt hour (MWh) by 0915 GMT.

The Dutch December gas price fell by 9.05 euros to 173.35 euros/MWh.

EU leaders meeting in Prague for informal talks on Friday will discuss whether and how to cap gas prices, as they attempt to curb a surge in energy prices that threatens to push the 27-nation bloc into recession.

“No decisions will be made today but we may get a clearer idea of the bloc’s plans despite opposition from Germany, Netherlands and Denmark,” analysts at Refinitiv said on Friday, adding that gas markets are likely to remain volatile while discussions continue.

Traders said the bloc’s high gas storage levels also weighed on prices.

Europe’s gas stores are more than 90% full, Gas Infrastructure Europe data showed, meeting early and beating a target for storage sites to be 80% full by November.

In Britain prices also fell with the December contract down 45 pence at 440 pence per therm.

Although Britain is not involved in the price cap discussions, British gas prices often mirror those in Europe due to the interconnected nature of the markets.

Flows of gas from Russia to Europe via Ukraine remained steady on Friday while eastward gas flows on the Yamal-Europe pipeline to Poland from Germany dipped, pipeline operator data showed.

In the European carbon market, the benchmark contract fell by 1.03 euro to 67.93 euros a tonne.

(Reporting By Susanna Twidale; editing by Nina Chestney)

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