Energy index up 1% as stronger euro offsets rise in oil, gas prices
The Bord Gáis Energy Index rose 1 per cent in January as a strengthening euro offset the impact of rising Brent crude oil and wholesale UK gas prices. As a result the index, which tracks changes in wholesale energy prices, was up 4 per cent compared to January 2012.
“Brent crude oil prices in US dollar terms rose to over US$115 a barrel, recording its highest monthly level since April 2012, as events in the Middle East and North Africa again raised the possibility of an oil supply disruption,” said Bord Gáis Energy power trader John Heffernan.
“The outlook for Brent crude oil prices continues to be difficult to predict,” he said. Although oil prices are likely to remain high in 2013, some positive price relief may come in the form of rising production from non-OPEC countries, he added.
The strengthening of the euro versus the dollar has insulated euro zone buyers of oil from price rises so far in 2013, but it is “uncertain whether this trend will continue” given the ongoing vulnerability of the euro.
In euro terms, the Brent oil crude price rose 1 per cent in January, while the natural gas element of the index fell 5 per cent, partly due to currency effects.