* Nordic spot power for Friday set at 31.69 euros/MWh
* Front-quarter eases on wetter weather forecast
* NASDAQ OMX to extend trading hours for Nordic power
OSLO, July 4 Nordic physical power prices for next-day delivery eased on Thursday due to higher wind power output and lower prices in Germany, analysts said.
The average system price for delivery on Friday was set at 31.69 euros ($41.11) a megawatt-hour (MWh) at an auction, up from 33.12 euros for Thursday.
The day-ahead contract in the financial market was last traded at 32 euros a MWh, suggesting traders expected the system price to be set higher.
"Spot power price came lower than expected due lower prices in Germany, which reduced exports from the Nordics," said an analyst at Thomson Reuters Point Carbon.
Increase in wind power production in Denmark and Sweden also weighed on prices, he added.
Nordic prices for baseload delivery during the fourth quarter eased by 35 cents to 37.10 euros a MWh on wetter weather forecasts.
"Towards the end of the next week and beyond, Atlantic low pressure is likely to increase influence over the entire northern Europe, bringing wetter weather," said meteorologist Georg Muller.
The Nordic market gets about half its electricity from hydropower plants, and wetter weather means higher supply.
Traders also said that soft spot power prices have added pressure on the front quarter.
Further out on the curve, front-year prices eased by 15 cents to 35.15 euros a MWh as both carbon and coal prices slipped.
Coal API2 year-ahead futures were trading 29 cents lower at $86.28 a tonne by around 1330 GMT.
European carbon prices were down by 9 cents to 4.60 euros a tonne.
DISPUTE OVER TRADING HOURS
NASDAQ OMX Group Inc. said it decided to extend trading hours for Nordic power derivatives until 1600 CET (1400 GMT) from 1530 CET in the first quarter of 2014, despite opposition from an association of Nordic power traders.
The exchange said the goal was to align trading hours for Nordic and German power derivatives as it seeks to attract more players from continental Europe and the UK.
"We think this could help to increase liquidity, which has been falling since 2008. We want to grow in Europe," said Sara Aadnesen, an Oslo-based spokeswoman for the exchange.
The Nordic Association of Electricity Traders said 96 percent of its members rejected the idea of extending trading hours until 1600 CET as this would mean higher costs due to longer working hours.
"I can see the point in aligning closing times for Nordic and German power contracts, but I don't think it will boost liquidity much," one Nordic trader said.
"Nobody wants to work longer than you have to."