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Watch: Market Movers Europe, Nov 29-Dec 3: Oil slumps on COVID-19 concerns as travel restrictions announced

In this week's highlights: COVID-19 variant spooks market ahead of OPEC+ meeting, the end of Europe's first cold snap of this winter is set to see energy prices fall, the competition for European investment in renewable energy strategies heats up, and mined metal industry leaders are to meet in London this week for the Mines and Money conference.

  • COVID-19 variant spooks market ahead of OPEC+ meeting (00:15)
  • European cold snap expected to be short-lived (01:18)
  • Danish lottery, German treaty (02:01)
  • Mines and Money kicks off in London (02:36)
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In this week's highlights: the end of Europe's first cold snap of this winter is set to see energy prices fall, the competition for European investment in renewable energy strategies heats up, and mined metal industry leaders are to meet in London this week for the Mines and Money conference.

But first, in oil this week it's all about the slump in oil prices in response to news of a new COVID-19 variant, and how OPEC+ countries will respond at their latest monthly meeting on Wednesday and Thursday.

Several nations, led by the UK, have imposed strict controls on travel from Southern African countries associated with the latest COVID-19 variant, dealing a further blow to air travel at a time when fears of a winter resurgence in Europe were already rising.

Tougher COVID-19 controls could also alter the calculus when OPEC+ producer nations meet, following speculation they could pull back from further production increases in response to the US' announcement of a release of strategic oil stocks.

Ahead of the OPEC+ meeting Iraq has come out in favour of sticking with the group's monthly production increases, but the stance of potentially more hawkish members such as Saudi Arabia remains unclear.

And that takes us to our social media question for the week: Will OPEC scale back production increases in response to the release of strategic oil stocks? Tweet us your thoughts using the hashtag #PlattsMM.

With French power seen trading last week over five hundred euros a megawatt-hour for delivery today, northwest Europe is now in the grip of excessive winter volatility. A cold snap has combined with record gas and carbon prices, twinned with low nuclear availability.

The snap is due to be short-lived, with a shift to milder, windier conditions into December potentially crashing spot prices. A forecast one hundred gigawatt surge in wind power for Wednesday could trigger a dramatic fall. Further out, France has become Europe's premium market for Q1 2022 after grid operator RTE warned of more tightness in January and February, raising the prospect of further UK exports on windy days.

Staying with power, offshore wind investors in Denmark will participate in a draw on Wednesday for the one gigawatt Thor concession after they submitted identical bids. First raffle ticket out of the hat wins.

And in Germany, potential coalition partners now need to get their agreement approved by their party conferences. If successful, the incoming government plans a massive boost for solar and wind and an accelerated exit from coal. Nearer-term, closure of three German reactors by the end of this year is set to boost national demand for coal and gas-fired power from January.

The annual Mines and Money conference will be held as an in-person event in London on the first and second of December. This is an important event that brings together mining companies, which are likely to be talking about new capacity in production to meet the surge in demand for mined metals. The first day will focus on the major topic of decarbonization and the green economy, with an opening address from an unspecified UK government representative and a keynote mining address from Anglo America CEO Mark Cutifani on the role that mining plays in a green economy.

The Platts Atlas of Energy Transition is your map to the sustainable commodity markets of the future. You can explore the Atlas by visiting the address displayed on your screen.

Thanks for kicking off your Monday with us and have a great week ahead!