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Bears Undeterred by Thursday's Reversal; August Called 2 Cents Higher

August natural gas is set to open 2 cents higher Friday morning at $2.75 as recent lows offer incentive enough to book gains ahead of the weekend. Overnight oil markets were mixed.

Traders are looking at Thursday's price action and seeing an extension of the move lower rather than any signs of a longer-term market reversal. "[Thursday's] reversal is offering solace to the bulls, but we continue to prioritize chart deterioration, re yesterday's new one-month lows," said Jim Ritterbusch of Ritterbusch and Associates in a morning note to clients.

"This market appears to be acquiring some bullish spillover from the gains across most of the oil complex since we haven't seen significant adjustments in the short-term temperature views to support higher values. Additionally, yesterday's larger than expected 91 Bcf storage injection...is likely to be followed next Thursday by a bigger build than seen yesterday.

"This implied expansion in the surplus against five-year average levels should be able to contain additional price strength unless the weekend brings some significant changes in the short-term weather views in the direction of some warm trends across the heavily populated northeast quadrant of the U.S. We feel that [Thursday's] upside price reversal and this morning's bullish follow-through is more representative of technical factors and a strong desire on the part of the large speculative entities to accept profits rather than any significant changes in short-term fundamentals."

Gas buyers over the weekend across the MISO power pool will likely have their work cut out for them as wind generation looks to be highly variable. WSI Corp. in its Friday morning report said, "A residual frontal boundary will remain a focal point for showers and storms across the Ohio and mid Mississippi Valley today. Otherwise, weak high pressure will support partly sunny skies. Highs will range in the upper 70s and 80s. A warm front and wave of low pressure will shift the best chance of additional shower and thunderstorm activity into the Upper Midwest and Great Lakes during the weekend, but the chance of rain and storms will become more widespread early next week.

"Light wind generation is expected most of today, but wind gen will gradually increase tonight into the weekend. Generation will be variable but might peak upward of 4-6 GW at times. Wind gen will remain variable but relax a bit early next week."

In overnight Globex trading August crude oil rose 39 cents to $53.17/bbl and August RBOB eased fractionally to $2.0417/gal.

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