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Weather Models Studied; November Seen 2 Cents Higher

November natural gas is expected to open 2 cents higher Wednesday morning at $2.49 as weather forecasters attempt to understand widely varying model interpretations for the second half of October. Overnight oil markets rose.

Weather, or a lack thereof, continues to steer natural gas prices within a narrow trading range, and forecasters are struggling with their weather models to determine if a series of systems expected across the northern United States will tap into cold Canadian air. Apparently, their model solutions offer a wide range of interpretations making forecasts difficult.

"There will be a cool blast into the Midwest and Northeast Friday, dropping highs back into the 50s to lower 60s, but we'll still need to wait until later next week for stronger cold blasts to arrive, at least ones with greater potential in tapping more impressive Canadian air," said Natgasweather.com in a morning report.

"We do need to consider it's possible the markets again get frustrated waiting on cold blasts if the weather data doesn't offer convincing evidence of more impressive winter-like temperatures over the U.S. soon. The latest weather data again shows a series of weather systems, but still with mixed results in how much cold air will push across the border. Unfortunately, we will need to be patient a little while longer to find out just how much colder air is going to spill into the U.S. late next week and beyond, but we continue to see opportunity for it."

Market technicians looking at Elliott Wave and retracement data see a "heavy" market, implying further price weakness. Walter Zimmermann, vice president at United ICAP, said in a weekly analysis, "For the past few weeks my two nearby candidates for support have been $2.385 and the $1.880 area. Friday's tiny bounce from a $2.403 low looked more like end-of-week profit-taking by nervous new shorts than the start of a larger advance. To have any case from here the first thing bulls need to do is break above $2.600.

"Last week gave a surgically precise break down through the triangle support line [from mid-May]. And there is nothing the least bit bullish about last week's candlestick. Expecting further weakness. Certainly looks like this market is capable of retesting the $1.902 low from April 2012."

In overnight Globex trading November crude oil gained 82 cents to $49.35/bbl and November RBOB gasoline rose fractionally to $1.4384/gal.

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