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Nymex Drops Margins Again on Some Natural Gas Futures Related Contracts

With natural gas futures prices continuing their downward spiral, the New York Mercantile Exchange Inc. (Nymex) said Thursday that it was decreasing some of the natural gas related options for the second time in two weeks. Specifically, the exchange reported some margin decreases on natural gas futures, Henry Hub swap futures, Henry Hub penultimate swap futures, Nymex miNY natural gas futures, and Henry Hub swing swap futures contracts. The changes went into effect on Friday.

Through Thursday of last week, February natural gas futures dropped $6.281 from the contract's all-time high of $15.780, which was recorded on Dec. 13, 2005.

In the most recent margin change, the exchange reported that margins on the first two months of the natural gas futures contract decreased to $12,000 from $14,000 for clearing members, to $13,200 from $15,400 for members, and to $16,200 from $18,900 for customers. Margins for all other months remained unchanged.

The margin rates on the first two months of the Henry Hub swap and Henry Hub penultimate swap futures contracts decreased to $3,000 from $3,500 for clearing members, to $3,300 from $3,850 for members, and to $4,050 from $4,725 for customers. Margins on all other months remained unchanged.

Margins for the first two months of the Nymex miNY natural gas futures contract decreased to $3,000 from $3,500 for clearing members, to $3,300 from $3,850 for members, and to $4,050 from $4,725 for customers.

Margins for the first month of the Henry Hub swing swap futures contract decreased to $3,000 from $3,500 for clearing members, to $3,300 form $3,850 for members, and to $4,050 from $4,725 for customers.

The exchange also announced that it increased the margins on its natural gas basis, index and swing swap futures contracts. For an extended list of the margin increases, visit www.nymex.com.

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