May natural gas is set to open 2 cents lower Tuesday morning as weather forecasts turn warmer and traders sense a weakening market. Overnight oil markets moved little.
Weather models overnight turned slightly warmer in the Midwest and East. "The forecast once again trends in the warmer direction today in this period, with these adjustments focused in the Midwest from mid to late period and in the East at the onset," said MDA Weather Services in its Tuesday morning six- to 10-day outlook.
"The Southeast, likewise, carries warmer leanings in a pattern which has above and much above normal temperatures being steady throughout the period. While the northern tier sees some day-to-day variability, the Midwest and East are mostly on the warm side of normal overall, thanks to a still strong flow out of the Pacific and associated active storm track across the country. Confidence is increased slightly from yesterday."
Traders are cautiously eyeing a short position. "This market appears poised to spend much of today's session mainly within yesterday's trading range as seemingly mild short-term temperature views appear discounted in forcing the market to await another round of weekly EIA stats before establishing another meaningful price swing," said Jim Ritterbusch of Ritterbusch and Associates in a Tuesday morning note to clients.
"The chart picture that remains bullish for now is discouraging us from a short position at current price levels. However, a supportive EIA report or any indications of supply disruptions could easily force a return to last week's shelf of highs at the $3.34 area where we would look to approach the short side. However, any such positions should be prepared to risk above the $3.45 level on a close only basis. Looking out toward month's end, we see some weakening in physical pricing with Henry Hub dropping toward the $3 mark in dragging May futures lower ahead of expiration."
In overnight Globex trading May crude oil was flat at $53.08/bbl and May RBOB gasoline fell fractionally to $1.7558/gal.