NYMEX ready to resume trading when cleared for safety

Sam Fletcher
OGJ Online

HOUSTON, Sept. 12 -- Although it remains closed Wednesday, the New York Mercantile Exchange is operational and ready to resume trading energy futures as soon as city authorities decide it's safe to return to that area near the World Trade Center, the target Tuesday of a terrorist attack.

Via a recorded announcement on a 24-hr information telephone line in New York, Nachamah Jacobovits, corporate communications vice-president, said top NYMEX officials gained access to that facility in New York's World Financial Center about 1 a.m. Wednesday. They found the facility "has full generative power and all indications are that it's ready to be fully operational," she said.

NYMEX plans to resume trading "as soon as it's safely possible" for market participants to return to that area, just blocks from the World Trade Center.

However, other sources have indicated that rescue and clean-up operations at the World Trade Center could take several days.

Jacobovits said NYMEX officials plan to clear any of Tuesday's trades, prior to the terrorist attack, against the closing price at Monday's session and will post them at the next session.

The NYMEX was located in the World Trade Center at the time of the first terrorist bomb attack on that complex in 1993. It subsequently moved to its present location. An employee at its Houston office said that apparently none of the NYMEX's New York staff were killed in the latest attack.

In London, analysts said the October contract for North Sea Brent crude soared to a record $31.05/bbl in immediate reaction Tuesday to terrorist attacks in the US. That contract subsequently closed at $29.06/bbl, up $1.61 for the day on the International Petroleum Exchange. The October natural gas contract also gained 5.6¢ to the equivalent of $3.15/Mcf on the IPE.

IPE CEO Richard Ward said, "Given the enormity of the tragedy unfolding in the US, I do not think it at all appropriate to comment on how the temporary shutdown of NYMEX will [affect] the IPE. Our thoughts at the IPE are with those who have suffered."

Contact Sam Fletcher at samf@ogjonline.com

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