Following a successful restart of its Internet-only, Access trading session late Friday afternoon, the New York Mercantile Exchange resumed open-outcry trading Monday morning at 11 a.m. (EDT) in an abbreviated, three-hour session. And just as it has been each day since the beginning of the year, sellers had the upper hand in the natural gas pit, as they pressured the October contract to within striking distance of recent lows. The prompt month finished at $2.369, 18.3 cents beneath Friday’s $2.552 close.

Traders contacted by NGI pointed to moderate selling pressure by commercial traders, which was partially offset by light prompt month buying by non-commercial fund traders who were more interested in rolling their October shorts to November than actually covering their positions. The November contract moved lower almost in lockstep with October, tumbling 14.9 cents to close at $2.753.

The New York Mercantile Exchange has announced an abbreviated schedule for the rest of this week that sets aside a three hour, 15 minute (10:30-1:45 EDT) window each day for open-outcry energy futures trading. Additionally, beginning with last night’s Access session the exchange will conduct an Internet-based Nymex Access session each day beginning at 5 p.m. and suspending at 8 p.m. The electronic session will resume Access trading each morning at 5 a.m. with the metals and propane contracts closing at 9 a.m. and all other energy contracts closing at 10 a.m. EDT.

Trading on the exchange will be hindered this week because access to the exchange, which is just a few blocks from the devastated former site of the World Trade Center, currently is restricted. The only way to get to the exchange at One North End Avenue is by ferry. The Brooklyn Bridge to Long Island and the Holland Tunnel to New Jersey were closed.

Nymex has arranged for several special ferries that will transport members, employees and tenants from the East and Hudson Rivers on either side of Manhattan to the building. Water shuttles are in service between Pier 11 on the East Side of Manhattan and Liberty Landing Marina at Liberty State Park in New Jersey to One North End Avenue.

In a letter this week to members and customers Nymex Chairman Vincent Viola and Exchange President J. Robert Collins Jr., expressed appreciation to customers, member firms, and members who participated in the exchange’s first Internet-based Nymex Access session on Friday.

“[It] took a tremendous leap of faith and extraordinary efforts by each of you,” they said. “Our success in this session helped us make a symbolic statement to the world, but especially those tyrants who sought to devastate and destroy the American system of enterprise and free markets. In our own small way, we helped show them that no act of terrorism will ever diminish the American spirit and our leadership role in the global economy.

“As we prepare to reoccupy our facility, I know I can continue to count on you for this continued level of support to keep American markets as the source of price transparency and market efficiency for the global energy and metals industries,” they added. “It is an honor, a credit, and the least we can do for the memory of all of those, but particularly our own members and colleagues, who perished for this cause.”

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