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US natural gas markets in confusion

Chemical companies, Economic growth, Financial Events, Futures trading, Oil markets
By Paul Hodges on 01-Aug-2009
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Natural gas is a major feedstock for US chemical producers. So the problems caused by the rush to buy a fund that “invests” in the natural gas futures market, are a concern.

Olivier Jakob of Petromatrix has been warning for some time that the UNG fund was becoming too large. Investors have been so keen to bet on rising commodity markets, that it now represents 70% of open interest in the nearby futures contracts! As a result, the market itself has become dysfunctional, and UNG is being forced to close some of its positions.

The UNG problem is another example of rampant speculation in financial markets. When this happens, it usually ends in tears