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EU Carbon Prices Drop to Six-Week Low as U.K. Natural Gas Falls

European Union carbon-dioxide permits dropped to a more than six-week low as oil prices and U.K. natural gas declined, curbing demand for pollution rights.

EU permits for delivery in December fell 2.6 percent to 7.27 euros a metric ton on London’s ICE Futures Europe exchange. That’s the lowest closing price since Aug. 10.

U.K. natural gas for next month dropped 2.1 percent to 58.85 pence a therm. Carbon permits in the world’s biggest cap-and-trade program sometimes track gas because power utilities burning the fuel need half the permits compared with when they use more-polluting coal.

Brent crude for November delivery lost 1.9 percent to $109.32 a barrel on discord over Europe’s debt crisis and weaker-than-expected German business sentiment. Oil can affect carbon prices because it’s linked to economic output and to cleaner-burning natural gas costs in Europe.

The EU has yet to decide what procedural steps to take next in talks about a draft change to the bloc’s carbon law that would enable curbing the oversupply of permits after some governments voiced uncertainty about the plan, an EU presidency official said today.

A number of nations expressed reservations about the proposed law change during initial discussions in the past two weeks, according to the official, who declined to be identified, citing department policy. Those member states are still scrutinizing the proposal, the official said.

United Nations credits for December rose 4.8 percent to 1.97 euros.

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