EUAs eased on Thursday as traders temporarily turned their focus from developments surrounding the fate of the EU’s MSR to industrial selling and this morning’s weak auction result.
The front-year futures settled down 7 cents at €6.72 – a cent above its intraday low – on light volume of just under 11 million units traded on ICE Futures Europe.
The benchmark contract hit a session high of €6.87 in the first 10 minutes of trade before slowly sliding lower through most of the rest of the day.
“There was little happening today to move prices apart from the auction. People are wary of any MSR news that could change things so quickly,” one trader said.
This morning’s EU auction of 2.9 million spot allowances cleared 2 cents below market at €6.70, resuming its more typical pattern after two straight sales cleared above secondary market prices.
The trader said that price gains were also limited by selling from industrial companies ahead of the April 30 compliance deadline.
“Some had thought companies wouldn’t be selling as much as in previous years, but to me it seems we are seeing the same levels,” he added.
A second trader noted that market participants were waiting nervously for more indications of member state positions with regard to the MSR’s launch date, following a meeting of government officials on Monday.
“Everything has gone quiet on the MSR and it doesn’t look good. If governments aren’t able to get a deal next week, that delay would hit prices,” a second trader said.
By Mike Szabo and Ben Garside – firstname.lastname@example.org