Saturday, September 13, 2008

Natural Gas Bounces with Hurricane

Natural-gas futures closed nearly 2% higher Friday on concerns that Hurricane Ike may cause damage to refining infrastructure in the Gulf of Mexico region and potentially disrupt energy production for a prolonged period.
Crude prices finished slightly higher, but briefly dipped below $100 a barrel for the first time since early April and suffered a loss of 4.8% for the week. Damage to refineries in the region may reduce demand for oil, analysts said.
"Oil wasn't an issue," said Darin Newsom, DTN senior analyst. "In fact, it could almost be viewed as bearish due to drilling platforms likely being undamaged for the most part, [and] crude-oil stocks could build if refineries are shut down for any length of time."
Natural gas for October delivery tacked on 11.8 cents to close at $7.366 per million British thermal units on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Earlier, it rose as high as $7.67 in electronic trading on Globex, its strongest intraday level in two weeks. But it still lost a total of 1.1% for this week.

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