The Department of Justice (DOJ) reportedly is investigating whether JPMorgan Chase & Co. has manipulated U.S. energy markets, but neither the department nor the company will comment on the reports.
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A number of Congressional lawmakers have expressed concern about the extent of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s jurisdiction in cases involving the manipulation of the futures and physical gas markets, said Commission spokeswoman Mary O’Driscoll.
Forced back into action following the Thursday Independence Day Holiday, physical gas traders in quiet trading Friday for weekend and Monday delivery managed to push most price point averages higher by a few cents, except for in the Northeast and California. Coming off dollar-plus losses on Wednesday, a number of Marcellus Shale-related points reversed course Friday to gain 80 cents or more. California was the only area in the red, with multiple points dropping a nickel to 15 cents.
Physical natural gas prices tumbled 8 cents overall in Wednesday’s trading as traders prepared for the Independence Day holiday, and many sections of the country expected to see mild weather. Nearly all points were in the red, and Northeast points bucked the downtrend, but a couple of points in the Marcellus suffered losses of over a dollar or more.
Physical natural gas prices on average gained a penny Tuesday with traders seeing no immediate need to make purchases during a holiday-muted trading week. Upper Midwest points added a couple of cents, and West Coast citygate prices were lower as forecasts of power demand were tempered. At the close, August futures were up 7.7 cents to $3.654 and September had added 7.8 cents to $3.651. August crude oil rose $1.61 to $99.60/bbl.
Physical natural gas prices on average gained a penny in trading for Tuesday deliveries, but California prices soared as next-day power made huge weather-driven gains. Northeast locations were also strong, but many market hubs were flat to within a couple of pennies higher or lower.
Physical natural gas overall fell 2 cents in Thursday’s trading, but that followed the typical Thursday script of traders getting their deals done prior to the release of Energy Information Administration (EIA) inventory data.
Physical natural gas prices Wednesday for Thursday delivery fell an average of 8 cents nationally as double-digit, power-driven declines in the East and Northeast prompted declines in next-day gas that at some points exceeded $1.00. On the West Coast, however, prices made small advances as the independent system operator predicted high next-day power loads. At the close of trading the expiring July contract had added 6.0 cents to $3.707 and August rose 6.7 cents to $3.737. August crude oil gained 18 cents to $95.50/bbl.
The physical natural gas market added an average of 4 cents Monday for Tuesday delivery, led by surging prices at Northeast points prompted by warm temperatures and big jumps in next day power. Eastern points also tallied double digit gains, far outdistancing trading centers in the Midwest and Gulf as well as those in California and the Rockies. At the close of futures trading July had fallen 3.2 cents to $3.739 and August was off 3.3 cents to $3.760. August crude oil recovered $1.49 to $95.18/bbl.
Physical natural gas prices fell nationally on average by approximately 6 cents in Thursday’s trading for Friday delivery, and although futures traders usually get their deals done prior to the release of storage data, the July contract was already down 6 cents prior to the release of the government inventory data.