EU carbon prices kept just above the €8 mark for the second straight day in a calm session during which bullish speculators were deterred from buying by a weak auction.
The benchmark Dec-15 EUA settled down 7 cents at €8.01 on ICE, near the bottom of the day’s €8.00-8.12 range.
Volume was on the heavy side at more than 16 million units done on the front-year contract, with a further 16.2 million allowances changing hands along the rest of the curve.
Most of the volume was transacted as block trades, with 2 million units done EFP in what appeared to be a Dec15-18 spread trade.
Speculators have been frustrated by a lack of volatility this week as carbon has barely budged, with today’s range consolidating within an already narrow €7.98-8.12 span since Monday.
“Everyone seems to be watching and waiting for some direction,” said one trader.
Trading may also be muted as dealers await publication of revised MiFID regulations on EU financial oversight, which industry groups have warned could hamper liquidity in carbon if some participants are forced to exit the market or limit their positions.
The publication had been expected today, but regulator ESMA said the revised rules would be released early next week.
The EU auction of 2.9 million spot EUAs cleared 5 cents below the Dec-15s when the sale cleared at 0900 GMT.
The sale attracted the lowest bid-to-cover ratio for a week at 3.35, though this was still above the average for 2015 auctions of 3.1.
Germany will offer the week’s biggest auction volume on Friday at 3.2 million EUAs, while supply from auctions will swell slightly next week to 15.08 million versus 14.81 million this week.
Meanwhile there was little direction from the energy complex.
German clean dark spreads were little changed, as dips in carbon, coal and a stronger euro were offset by weaker German baseload power prices, which fell around 0.9% along the forward curve.
By Ben Garside – firstname.lastname@example.org