Bloomberg News –
The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission found no evidence of trader misconduct in a 48 percent rally in natural gas prices during a three-week period at the end of last year, the agency said in a news release.
In January, the commission said it was reviewing trading data after natural gas futures prices on the New York Mercantile Exchange jumped $2.36 to $7.221 per million British thermal units between Nov. 18 and Dec. 12.
The seven-month investigation “did not uncover evidence that any entity or individual engaged in activity with an intent to cause an artificial price in natural gas in late 2003,” the commission said in the news release.
The probe, which began in early December, attributed the price rise to colder-than-expected Northeastern temperatures in the first week of December and industry forecasts of the amount of gas in storage.
The commission reviewed company documents and tape recordings of natural gas traders. Industry analysts, operators of natural gas storage facilities and “dozens of individuals” were interviewed or gave testimony, the commission said.
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, which conducted its own inquiry into the late 2003 price rally, also found no evidence of price manipulation.
Among the companies subpoenaed in the investigation were TXU, El Paso Corp. and CenterPoint Energy.
Source: Star Telegram
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