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NYMEX Ups Margins for Natural Gas Trading Three Times in Two Weeks

For the third time in less than two weeks, the New York Mercantile Exchange Inc. (NYMEX) announced it was increasing the margins for natural gas, Henry Hub swap, NYMEX miNYsm natural gas, Henry Hub swing swap and Henry Hub penultimate swap futures contracts (see NGI, Aug. 22). The latest changes went into effect at the close of business Aug. 29.

Margins on the first and second months of the natural gas futures contracts increased to $10,000 from $8,000 for clearing members, to $11,000 from $8,800 for members, and to $13,500 from $10,800 for customers. The margins for the third to sixth months increased to $9,750 from $7,750 for clearing members, to $10,725 from $8,525 for members, and to $13,163 from $10,463 for customers. The margins for the seventh to 19th months increased to $5,000 from $4,000 for clearing members, to $5,500 from $4,400 for members, and to $6,750 from $5,400 for customers. The margins for all other months will remain the same.

Margins on the first and second months of the Henry Hub swap futures and the Henry Hub penultimate swap futures contracts increased to $2,500 from $2,000 for clearing members, to $2,750 from $2,200 for members, and to $3,375 from $2,700 for customers. The margins on the third to sixth months increased to $2,438 from $1,938 for clearing members, to $2,681 from $2,131 for members, and to $3,291 from $2,616 for customers. The margins for the seventh to 19th months increased to 1,250 from $1,000 for clearing members, $1,375 from $1,100 for members, and to $1,688 from $1,350 for customers. All other months will remain the same.

The margins on the first and second months of the NYMEX miNYsm natural gas futures contracts increased to $5,000 from $4,000 for clearing members, to $5,500 from $4,400 for members, and to $6,750 from $5,400 for customers.

The margins on the first month of the Henry Hub swing swap futures contracts increased to $2,500 from $2,000 for clearing members, to $2,750 from $2,200 for members, and to $3,375 from $2,700 for customers.

NYMEX also reported last week that it set daily volume records on Aug. 29 in NYMEX Access trading for overall volume, natural gas and heating oil futures contracts. During the overnight Access trading session, overall volume on NYMEX Access reached 100,767 contracts, exceeding the 100,568 contracts traded on July 7. Natural gas futures hit 18,333 contracts, surpassing the 18,010 contracts traded on Feb. 25, 2003 and heating oil futures traded 8,457 contracts, breaking the previous record of 7,023 contracts traded on Nov. 9, 2004.

On Friday, NYMEX announced monthly volume records for August for Exchangewide futures and options, futures, and options; NYMEX Division; NYMEX Division futures; NYMEX Division options; light, sweet crude oil futures; gasoline futures; and overall NYMEX miNYsm and NYMEX miNYsm crude oil and natural gas futures.

Exchange-wide futures and options monthly volume reached 21,355,701 contracts, surpassing the 18,616,482 traded in June. Total Exchange futures volumes reached 17,327,512 contracts surpassing the record of 15,289,265 contracts set in June. Total Exchange options volume hit 4,028,189 contracts surpassing the record 3,327,217 contracts traded in June.

A record 765,449 NYMEX miNYsm futures contracts were traded, surpassing the 473,150 contracts traded in July. NYMEX miNYsm natural gas futures volume hit 53,396 contracts, exceeding the 32,833 contracts traded in June. NYMEX miNYsm crude oil futures volume reached 712,053 contracts, surpassing the record of 447,550 contracts set in June.

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