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US cold snap unsettles commodities, spot power markets

[BOSTON] The coldest air in almost 20 years is sweeping over the central US towards the East Coast, igniting energy demand and damaging Great Plains winter wheat.

Winter storms and frigid air add volatility to commodities trading and spot power markets. Natural gas futures in New York have surged 24 per cent since Nov 1 as the coldest start to the US heating season in 13 years boosted fuel demand. Last week, as snow and cold gripped the nation, spot power for New York City jumped more than 11-fold in one hour, while wheat climbed the most since mid-October. This week, cities from Minneapolis to Pittsburgh may have record low temperatures.

"Cold temperatures and gusty winds associated with an arctic...

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