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BRIEFLY / ENERGY

Natural Gas Prices Rise to Record Level

November 22, 2000|Bloomberg News

Natural gas prices rose to a record for the second straight session, as an early cold spell in the U.S. boosted demand for the heating fuel at a time when supplies are low. Traders were buying contracts because the next weekly report on inventories from the American Gas Assn. is due for release today at 11 a.m., after futures trading closes early for a four-day Thanksgiving holiday. The timing means traders won't be able to take the latest inventory levels into account before the weekend. Prices also rose because a drop in electricity production in California, caused by the unexpected shutdown of a nuclear power plant, is boosting demand for electricity from gas-fired plants, traders said. Natural gas for December delivery rose 15.9 cents, or 2.5%, to $6.408 per million British thermal units on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Prices reached $6.51 during the session, the highest price in 10 years of trading.

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