The June Nymex contract made it 2 for 2 for up days this week,as the spot month gained another 4.1 cents to settle Tuesday at$2.256. Sources said the market followed cash prices higher butalso warmed further gains may be limited. “This is the fifth timeJune has failed to rise above $2.27. Moreover, the daily lows havebeen rising also, so sooner or later something’s going to have togive,” an analyst told GPI.
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After all the volatility surrounding the May Nymex contract oflate, the spot month spent what is typically one of any contract’smost volatile trading days (its expiration) by slipping only 0.4cents to settle Tuesday at $2.262. A trader said late strengthpushed June and the rest of the outmonths up a couple of cents forthe day, and noted May would have expired with a gain, had it notbeen for a fund dumping a large position within the last 30 minutesof trading.
FERC said it plans to begin audits of three additionalinterstate pipelines next month as part of its stepped-up effort tocrack down on abuses involving marketing affiliates. The on-siteaudits of Columbia Gas Transmission, Great Lakes Gas TransmissionL.P. and CNG Transmission are expected to get underway around May18, according to a spokeswoman.
Natural Gas Clearinghouse’s (NGC) decision earlier this month topost 40% of its San Juan-to-California capacity on El Paso NaturalGas for release appeared “at first blush” to be a “magnanimousgesture” on the marketer’s part, but it was far from that, said anenergy consultant.
The May Nymex contract continued its assault into higherterritory last week, as the spot month made its first ever tripabove the $2.70 mark. In fact, May set its new all-time high of$2.725 Thursday morning before strong profit taking ahead of thelong holiday weekend drove May down to a Friday settle of $2.567,up an overall 10.1 cents for the week.
The April Nymex contract crept 3.5 cents higher to $2.365 onWednesday, as traders continue to hold the spot month to smalldaily changes ahead of the contract’s expiration this Friday. Aprilmanaged to reach $2.40 before intraday profit taking drove thecontract back, a source told GPI. Total estimated volume came in at70,152 contracts.
Despite a three-month delay because of technical interfaceproblems, the California Independent System Operator and theCalifornia Power Exchange Corp. (PX) announced they have completeda week’s worth of testing and have notified FERC they’re ready toopen the statewide electricity market on March 31. They intend tocommence operations by accepting bids in the Day Ahead market onMarch 31 with the first full day of operations being the day after.
The April Nymex contract fell 2.9 cents to $2.292 on Monday,following the spot month’s failed attempt to clear a majorresistance level. “April was in a two hurdle race today, but ittripped on the second hurdle,” a trader told GPI. “On the one hand,April was able to break out of the symmetrical triangle formationby moving above $2.34. However, April immediately fell back once itfilled in the chart gap at $2.355. There were quite a few standingsell orders at that price, so it’s no wonder the contract fellback,” he said.