The Bord Gáis energy index was steady at 111 in October, as a 12% increase in natural gas prices was offset by a small drop in oil prices in euro terms.

The Bord Gáis index is designed to track movements in the wholesale energy market and is made up of the four key energy commodities of oil, gas, coal and electricity.

It shows that the price of oil fell by 1% in October and stood at $83 a barrel by the end of the month. The index also says that coal prices were boosted by the lack of supply out of Colombia and Russia. However, in euro terms they remained little changed.

Electricity prices also rose by 1% last month with an increase in evening peak prices as evening demand increased in October compared to September.

'Looking ahead, the futures markets for each of the individual components of the energy index are relatively flat,' commented Michael Kelleher, energy trading analyst at Bord Gáis Energy.

'This may reflect the lack of a clear outlook for the world economy as it emerges from the recession of the past few years,' he said.

He also said that currencies will remain a major focus of attention as concerns surrounding the size and effect of US stimulus packages, sovereign debt issues in Europe and the strength of the Chinese yuan compared to major other world currencies continue to hit the markets.