The November natural gas contract rolled off the board on Monday after posting a 2.1% gain on the day, settling at $3.471/MMBtu. According to the Wall Street Journal, traders were somewhat surprised by the sharp gain, but with fewer players in the market due to Hurricane Sandy, prices appeared to be more volatile due to thinner volume. This was the strongest price for an expiring contract this year; however, this November contract did settle about 1.5% below November 2011. The year-to-date natural gas average price is $2.707/MMBtu, the lowest annual average since 1999.

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