Follow-through on the heels of last Friday’s positive tradingsession prompted some mild short covering which bolstered futuresfor the second Monday in a row. The September contract was thebiggest mover, posting a 6.2 cent gain to settle at 1.895 on theday.
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Positive contributions from gathering, processing andinternational activities helped boost El Paso Energy’s secondquarter earnings to $0.45/share, an increase of 22% from $0.37 in2Q97. Earnings before interest and taxes increased to $149 millionfrom $139 million in the year ago quarter.
The July contract closed out the week on a positive note aslight short-covering and position squaring bolstered the market6.5-cents to settle at $2.035 on Friday. July was not the only bigwinner, with nearby August also coming to life. August was up 7.3cents bringing the 12-month strip to $2.329.
Bulls have had very little if anything positive to talk aboutlately with respect to gas prices at the New York MercantileExchange. Mild June temps, a healthy storage level, and amplesupply have weighed on the market since the current downtrend beganon April 9th. So it comes as no surprise that upon the release ofthe less-than-expected 86 Bcf AGA storage injection, bulls sawtheir first opportunity in a while to push the market higher. Thefirst thrust was registered in Wednesday night’s ACCESS session.Then, after opening higher yesterday, the contract traded in a neat5-cent trading range settling at $1.970, up 4 cents for the day.