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Forecasts Again Seen Colder Overnight; April Natural Gas Called Higher

April natural gas was set to open Tuesday about 3 cents higher at around $2.805, with more cold adjustments overnight in the weather data helping the market to build on Monday’s rally.

The April contract gained 4.6 cents in Monday’s settlement as weather models turned notably more supportive last weekend.

“Forecasts overnight only continued to trend colder as we continue to see model guidance strengthen upper level blocking in the medium- and long-range that will force colder weather across key heating demand regions,” Bespoke Weather Services said Tuesday. “European guidance continues to be most impressive, showing heating demand very significantly above average over the next couple of weeks.

“Though we had expected forecasts Monday to be about as bullish as they would get, even colder trends were added overnight, and we have adjusted our expectations accordingly to now expect 43-plus more gas-weighted degree days than average through the next 15 days.”

In its six- to 10-day outlook Tuesday, Radiant Solutions said, “The forecast undergoes major colder changes versus Monday’s outlook as models have trended notably colder across the board. The early period warmup continues to be more muted than previous expectations with aboves/much aboves more restricted to Texas and the South.

“Low pressure tracks across the South early next week and could become yet another East Coast winter storm, with colder air being pulled in its wake into the Midcontinent and South in the latter part of the period,” Radiant said. “Despite the significant changes, models highlight additional cold risk to the forecast.”

Bespoke said current guidance could help prices break through resistance at $2.82 and potentially test $2.85, though it said it expects the market to loosen above $2.80.

“The May contract trading in closer to the April contract indicates the significant role of recent weather changes, and wee this as indicating the potential for a higher leg in prices today,” the firm said.

ICAP Technical Analysis analyst Brian LaRose said after Monday’s close that in terms of price, “resistance has yet to be exceeded. In technical terms, natural gas is sitting in a vulnerable position. So a defensive posture is still recommended at this time.

“That being said, it will not take much to keep the advance going,” LaRose said. “All the bulls need to do is punch through $2.793-2.823. I see room up to $2.894-2.921-2.962 next if the bulls can maintain the upper hand.”

April crude oil was set to open about 40 cents lower Tuesday at around $60.96/bbl, while April RBOB gasoline was trading about 2.4 cents lower at around $1.8701/gal.

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