November natural gas is expected to open a penny lower Friday morning at $2.49 as traders see little weather support over the next two weeks. Overnight oil markets rose.
Analysts see any further advances in near-term futures as selling opportunities. "Although the reported 95 Bcf injection was only a couple Bcf below average street expectations, it appears that the money managers are still looking for reasons to trim a sizable short holding ahead of an extended holiday weekend that could bring some significant adjustments to the short-term temperature views," said Jim Ritterbusch of Ritterbusch and Associates in closing comments Thursday.
"But for now, most outlooks remain skewed in favor of above-normal trends with extension out to about the 21st of this month. This virtually assures some additional unusually large injections that could culminate in an end of October supply of about 4 Tcf with an additional week or two of increase possible into November should mild trends be sustained. Finally, we will concede to some bullish spillover from the stout liquid markets. We anticipate some modest upside price follow-through, and we would suggest shorts within December futures on further rallies into the $2.75-2.80 zone."
Longer term, analysts also see a soft market. Earlier in the week, Raymond James & Associates Inc. reduced its 2016 Henry Hub price estimate by 90 cents, while Tudor, Pickering Holt & Co. (TPH) cut its price deck by $1.00, citing decreasing industrial demand growth and rising takeaway capacity from the Northeast.
Raymond James cut its Henry Hub estimate for the second time in two months to $2.35/Mcf from $3.25; the long-term forecast was cut to $2.75 from $3.25. In August the firm had cut its forecast for 2016 to $3.25/Mcf from $3.75. TPH lowered its forecast to $3.00 from $4.00; longer term, prices now are forecast at $3.50.
Buyers for power generation over the weekend across the MISO power pool may be able to cut back on their purchases as hefty wind generation is forecast. WSI Corp. in its Friday morning report said, "A cold front will slide across the lower Midwest and Mississippi Valley [Friday], bringing a round of showers and a few storms. This will begin to usher more seasonable temperatures into the power pool. Temps will retreat into the upper 50s, 60s and 70s.
"After a brief decline, a southwest-to-northwest flow will likely cause wind gen to ramp up and become relatively strong during the weekend into the start of next week. Output might top out around 8-10 GW."
In overnight Globex trading November crude oil gained 79 cents to $50.22/bbl and November RBOB gasoline added a penny to $1.4200/gal.