For a change, fundamentals actually seemed to be behind pricemovements at the New York Mercantile Exchange on Monday. The spotApril contract gained 4.0 cents to $2.169 yesterday, as a blast ofwinter temperatures propelled cash market prices up 5-10 centsacross much of the country.
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Expiration days are known for their unusualness, but perhaps noother day in the history of the New York Mercantile Exchange willmatch the one turned in yesterday. The last few days of trading hadbeen relatively tame, but a telephone glitch that knocked outcommunications on the floor of the Exchange (see “Phone Lines Dead; Nymex TradingDisrupted”) at approximately 1:50 EST forced many traders intotrading at prices and volumes “that they otherwise would not havedone,” a source told GPI. As a result of the madness, the Marchcontract finally left the board at $2.286, up an even 7.0 cents forthe day.
Expiration week is supposed to be about extreme volatility atthe New York Mercantile Exchange, but the March natural gascontract exhibited anything but that on Monday. The spot monthinched 1.9 cents lower to $2.179 yesterday, amid a session bound bya tight 4-cent trading range