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EUROPE POWER-Curve lifted by gas market uncertainty

·2 min read

FRANKFURT, July 5 (Reuters) - European power curve prices increased on Tuesday on uncertainty about gas supplies from Russia.

The latest rises, with a risk of further increases, follow news that Germany is preparing to buy stakes in energy companies struggling with soaring prices of imported gas.

"The (Dutch) TTF gas price continues to provide upside risk," said Refinitiv analysts.

The German government will be able to buy stakes in companies buckling under the strain of paying gas import prices, according to draft legislation seen by Reuters.

The government wants to prevent market damage as companies are squeezed between expensive spot gas and under-supply from inexpensive long-term contracts that are not being met by Russia amid east-west confrontations over war in Ukraine and sanctions.

One such German company, Uniper, said last week that sale of a stake to the government was among options that it was discussing.

German year-ahead baseload power was at 326 euros ($337.57) per megawatt hour (MWh) at 0815GMT on Tuesday, up 1.2% but below Monday's contract high of 328 euros, while the equivalent French contract did not trade after closing on Monday at 392 euros.

French monthly supply in September hit a record 425 euros, up 2.4%.

The gas market fears possible long-term disruptions after maintenance on the Nord Stream 1 pipeline is completed after a routine closure over July 11-21. Long-term disruptions would have massive spillover effects across economies.

Regulators are trying to ensure enough gas is bought for storage. They are also supervising the drawing up of priority lists for access to gas.

Flows of Russian gas via Nord Stream 1 and deliveries through Ukraine edged lower on Tuesday.

European CO2 allowances for December 2022 expiry edged 0.2% higher to 84.74 euros a tonne.

Spot power prices showed mixed directions, with Germany's falling because of increased wind supply and French ones up on low reactor availability, just 47.9% of installed capacity.

French rector Cruas 4 added one more day to its outage. It is now likely reopen on Wednesday.

German day-ahead baseload was down 5.1% at 304.5 euros and the equivalent French contract was up 6.7% at 400 euros.

The EPEX SPOT bourse said it traded 49.9 terawatt hours in June, up from 47.2 terawatt hours a year earlier.

($1 = 0.9657 euros) (Reporting by Vera Eckert; Editing by Bradley Perrett)