US energy merchants face period of 'extreme stress'

The US natural gas and wholesale power trading sector, along with the power-generating sector, is presently facing a period of "extreme stress," according to Richard Hunter, managing director, global power group, for New York-based Fitch Ratings.And the energy trading sector's response to this stress is affecting the scope of activity within the energy commodities markets.Factors contributing to this strain have been industry's desire to reduce its exposure to energy trading operations, continuing regulatory investigations into financial reporting practices, and an onslaught of litigation, Hunter said at a Fitch-hosted teleconference late last month. At the same time, energy trade...

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