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Europe Power-Ample wind, French nuclear drag spot down

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* Online French nuclear capacity up 7 points

* More wind electricity output in Germany, France

* Unions stopped E.ON's French thermal power plants

PARIS, Oct 11 (Reuters) - European spot power prices tumbledon Thursday, with ample supply expected from German windturbines and French nuclear reactors, while consumption in thetwo countries was set to fall ahead of the weekend.

French day-ahead baseload was down 7.75 euros on the day at46.25 euros ($59.86) a megawatt hour (MWh)

, whileGermany's equivalent spot contract also fell 6.85 euros to 45.15euros per MWh.

"Wind power in Germany is predicted to pick up over theentire course of the day. We expect an increase of close to3GW," Thomson Reuters Point Carbon analysts wrote on Thursday.

"In France a lot more wind is coming in during the earlypart of the day with levels reaching up as high as 3GW," theyadded.

Another bearish factor was a surge in available Frenchnuclear power, with four of EDF's

reactors returning tothe grid on Thursday after outages, bringing nuclear capacity toalmost 77 percent from about 70 percent the day before.

However, trade unions in the French energy sector said in astatement late on Thursday they had halted E.ON's

French thermal power stations for the whole of Thursday.

A 24-hour strike already cut production capacity at E.ON'sthermal electricity plants earlier this week, with workersprotesting against job cuts and plant closures.

Along the forwards power curve, Germany's benchmark contractfor 2013 delivery

shed 12 cents to 47.63 euros andthe same position in France was down 50 cents to 50.25 euros.

Swedish utility Vattenfall's German unit

started

up a new coal-fired power station on Thursday, in a raredeparture from the country's strategy to focus on renewableenergy and ditch its nuclear power.

Brent and U.S. crude futures pared some of their stronggains after separate reports showed U.S. jobless claims felllast week, while the U.S. trade deficit widened in August andimport prices rose in September.

Prompt physical coal prices was also down by $1-2 a tonne,in line with coal swaps' weakness in earlytrading.

($1 = 0.7726 euros)

(Reporting by Michel Rosel; editing by Keiron Henderson)

((michel.rose@thomsonreuters.com)(+331 4949 5570)(ReutersMessaging: michel.rose.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net))

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Keywords: MARKETS EUROPE/ELECTRICITY