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Quiet End of July Anticipated; September Opened Flat

September natural gas opened unchanged Friday morning at $2.77 as traders saw little overnight follow-through from Thursday's "sell the news" drop. Overnight oil markets were mixed.

For the moment, cooler trends expected by the middle of the month have yet to impact the market. "Although the market sent off some bearish vibes with yesterday's strong selloff subsequent to the release of a seemingly price-neutral EIA storage figure, this morning's lack of downside follow-through would appear to favor a quiet finish to this month's trade," said Jim Ritterbusch of Ritterbusch and Associates in a Friday morning note to clients.

"Unlike the oil that has seen a dramatic selloff this month of almost 20%, losses in August natural gas have been relatively small at around 7 cents. Consequently, we don't see much incentive on the part of speculative shorts to book profits in today's trade. While the market has been forced to price in some expected cool temperature trends that are beginning to stretch toward mid-August, downside price follow-through remains elusive."

Ritterbusch said he is standing aside the market at present but senses a "test of low side parameter of $2.65 increasingly likely if cool temperature outlooks stretch beyond mid-August"

In overnight Globex trading September crude oil fell 77 cents to $47.75/bbl and September RBOB gasoline rose fractionally to $1.7722/gal.

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