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UK GAS-Prices firm as gas flows to the Continent

British prompt gas prices firmed on Wednesday as a major pipeline switched to export gas to the Continent rather than receive supplies and weather forecasters lowered temperatures for the coming days.

* Day-ahead gas was up 0.6 pence, or 1.23 percent, at 49.50 pence per therm at 0800 GMT

* Within-day gas rose 0.9 pence to 49.25 p/therm

* The IUK interconnector between the UK’s Bacton terminal and Belgium has begun exporting gas to the continent, marking the start of the so-called summer gas season.

* During the season, which started on April 1, there is typically lower gas demand for heating.

* Weather forecasters monitored by Thomson Reuters have reduced temperature forecasts by 0.4 degrees Celsius for the weekend and by 0.2 degrees for next week.

* The gas system is balanced with consumption seen at 266.6 million cubic metres (mcm) and supply at 268.5 mcm, according to National Grid data.

* Two LNG tankers arrived in the UK earlier this week and their sendout is supplementing the market.

* Another two LNG tankers are expected to arrive on Thursday and Sunday at the Dragon terminal

* Dutch day-ahead gas prices edged up, trading at 18.70 euros per megawatt hour, up 0.05 euro.

* The benchmark Dec-18 EU carbon contract was 0.2 euro down at 13.50 euros a tonne.
Source: Reuters (Reporting by Sabina Zawadzki, editing by Louise Heavens)

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