June natural gas is expected to open 3 cents lower Friday morning at $2.92 as traders mull new and lower trading targets and look for buying opportunities. Overnight oil markets fell.
Analysts see the market as having an overall bearish tonality with an eventual test of recent lows in the $2.50 range. "Although this market managed to respond to a supportive storage injection of 92 Bcf, the inability to maintain early gains above the $3.00 mark keeps this market vulnerable to fresh lows during the next couple of sessions, in our opinion," said Jim Ritterbusch of Ritterbusch and Associates.
"The 92 Bcf supply hike was proximate to our supply expectations and narrowed the deficit against five-year averages only slightly by about 6 Bcf to 35 Bcf. Some renewed price weakening would appear likely tomorrow ahead of a holiday weekend that will be reducing industrial demand. However, short-term one- to two-week forecasts are still maintaining a bullish hue with above-normal temperatures expected along the Eastern Seaboard.
"All in all, we will look for support to hold at the 2.90 level during [Friday's] trade while we expect some renewed selling next week into the $2.82-2.90 zone, with the market gradually ratcheting on down to around the $2.50 area. We are maintaining a bearish trading bias for now and would use any price rallies toward today's highs as fresh selling opportunities."
Others don't see the market working that low. Tom Saal, vice president at FC Stone Latin America LLC, in his work with Market Profile expects the market to test Thursday's value area at $3.003 to $2.949. It "could test the 50% breakdown target at $2.855. Market should stay above the 'intermediate term' mode at $2.786. Look to buy on any weakness," he said in a morning note to clients.
Buyers tasked with purchasing gas for power generation across the PJM footprint over the extended weekend are not likely to have much in the way of wind generation to offset purchases. WSI Corp. in its morning outlook said, "A cold front is expected to sweep across the Mid Atlantic today with just a slight chance of an isolated shower or storm. This will likely usher high pressure into the power pool during the next couple of days. This should lead to seasonably cool temperatures with highs in the 60s and 70s. Lows may dip into the upper 30s, 40s to mid 50s. High pressure will slowly slide off the East Coast during Sunday into early next week.
"Light and variable wind generation is expected during the next couple of days. A south-southwest flow may cause wind gen to ramp up during Saturday night into early next week. Output may climb in excess of 3 GW."
In overnight Globex trading July crude oil retreated 53 cents to $60.19/bbl and July RBOB gasoline fell 2 cents to $2.0459/gal.