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March 28
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A restriction on gas prices in the EU, which will come into force next month, could affect financial stability and potentially limit liquidity on European gas exchange markets, regulators of the financial and energy markets of the bloc said, Reuters reports.

EU countries agreed in December on a gas price cap that would come into force on Feb. 15 in the event of a surge in prices at the TTF gas hub.

The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) said that if gas prices approach a level that would trigger the cap, market participants would likely change their behavior to avoid or prepare for its triggering.

ESMA said it seemed likely that market participants would move to trade gas under contract or on platforms that are not subject to the restriction, either by moving to trading platforms outside the EU or by trading off-exchange. According to ESMA, this could hit liquidity in regulated TTF contract markets.

In a separate report, the EU Agency for Cooperation of Energy Regulators said the looming price cap has not yet caused any impact on energy markets, but it is monitoring a number of risks.

EU gas prices have fallen in recent weeks amid unusually warm weather and full EU storage, with the TTF contract for the coming month now below €70 per megawatt-hour (MWh) - well below the record high levels of over €300/MWh it reached last year.

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