Energy prices fell by 10% in January as the coronavirus outbreak in China added to the already weak sentiment in energy markets. 

The latest Bord Gáis Energy Index reveals that oil prices fell by 11% on concerns that the growing threat from the virus could dampen global oil demand. 

Gas prices also fell during January, dropping 11% on soft demand and robust supply, while electricity fell 7% and coal dropped 4%, the index also showed. 

The energy index shows that oil prices closed at $58.16 a barrel at the end of January, a drop of 11% in euro terms and the lowest monthly close in over a year. 

Bord Gáis said the price fluctuated during the month as tensions between the US and Iran spiralled after the US assassination of the high-profile Iranian commander Qassem Soleimani, leading to a spike in price to $72. 

But US sanctions and a de-escalation in rhetoric and tensions led to oil prices retreating to pre-attack levels. 

The fall was then exacerbated by news of the coronavirus in China, which could further weaken global oil demand. 

BP have estimated that economic and travel restrictions imposed to prevent the spread of the virus could dampen oil demand by as much as 500,000 barrels.

Meanwhile, gas prices ended January 11% lower in euro terms with continued benign demand and a robust supply enabling the market balance comfortably.

Bord Gáis noted that the European market retains significant spare capacity as storage levels remain high and record volumes of LNG cargoes arrive.

It also said that electricity fell by 7.3% in January. The average hourly demand increased by 2.6% which was partially offset by a 5% increase in wind. 

Lower gas and carbon prices were the main drivers behind the reduction in power prices, Bord Gáis said.

And coal prices settled 4% lower in euro terms at $50.35 a tonne in January as a mild winter and falling natural gas prices sees demand for coal continue to come under pressure.