Weekend Prices Crash on Lack of Fundamentals

Prices for the weekend were crashing faster and farther Fridaythan they had run up the day before. Declines that were often inthe area of 20 cents left many points not far above Octoberindexes.

October 5, 1998

Technical Rally Gets Boost from Storage

Expectations often differ from what actually comes to fruitionin the volatile arena of natural gas futures, and yesterday thatpoint was driven home when a bullish combination of slow-to-resumesupply outages met with a smaller-than-expected storage refill.Traders chased the market higher most of the day, and advances inthe evening computer trading Access session nearly matched theregular pit-trading gains. The November contract received thelargest boost, rocketing 16.8 cents to post a final trade of $2.515last night after briefly settling at $2.433 earlier in the day.

October 1, 1998

Screen Drop Too Late to Stop Heat-Driven Gains

At first glance Monday was one of those not-too-often cases inwhich “following the screen” did not apply to the cash market. Butas a Northeastern buyer pointed out, an initially flat futuresshowing allowed many physical-gas markets to post gains of a nickelor so, and by the time the screen got around to diving by about 7cents, it was too late to affect a lot of cash deals. But late cashtrading did reflect the weakness in the Nymex pit, said a producerwho found late Henry Hub and Katy sales down 3-4 cents fromearly-morning levels.

July 21, 1998

‘Volatility’ Returns to Natural Gas Pit at Nymex

June has ushered a familiar characteristic back into the naturalgas trading pit at Nymex: volatility. Natural gas and volatilityoften are spoken in the same breath. However, for periods thiswinter and spring, the dips and rallies that have drawn manytraders to natural gas have been largely suppressed. But now withsummer clsing in, June has been marked by choppy trading withweather bulls on one side and storage bears on the other. Analystsin the middle are mixed as to who will win the battle, but nearlyeveryone in the market agrees the “V” word is back to stay for awhile.

June 19, 1998

Futures Plunge Expected to Reverse Cash Climb

Cash prices continued going up at most points Wednesday, oftenrepeating Tuesday’s gains of between 3 and 9 cents. Butshell-shocked traders were more interested in discussing what onecalled the “precipitous” drop in May futures and its implicationsfor both April and May cash numbers. “I’d bet a lot of people gotcaught with their pants down” by the screen’s plunge, a marketersaid. Several sources said the Nymex drop caused daily cash dealsdone late to fall.

April 23, 1998

MC2 Official Calls Pilot Programs ‘Delaying Tactic’

Although often seen as effective vehicles for achievingcompetition, pilot programs also are being used as a “delayingtactic” by some natural gas and electric utilities that aren’tbullish on the idea of bringing customer choice to their markets, amarketing official charged last week.

March 6, 1998
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