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Analysts Looking Long, But November Seen A Nickel Lower

November natural gas is set to open 5 cents lower Wednesday morning at $2.43 as forecasters tweak their predictions to the warm side. Overnight oil markets fell.

MDA Weather Services in its morning 6- to 10-day outlook said, "The forecast is adjusted warmer today in this period, with this being a result of increased variability form moisture feeding into the South and East from the Gulf of Mexico. This should act as a limiting factor to southern extent of Canadian high pressure in the second half; however, the forecast remains on the cool side of guidance as a ridge builds northward over western North America.

"In all, the eastern half favors a period with near and marginally below normal temperatures, while the West continues to hold above and much above normal for this period's duration."

Looking ahead to Thursday's storage report, Tim Evans of Citi Futures Perspective calculates a build of 93 Bcf, a bit above the 86 Bcf five-year average, and said his figures show the year-on-five year surplus growing from its present 168 Bcf to a stout 248 Bcf by Nov. 6. "A rising surplus still confirms the market is becoming better supplied on a seasonally adjusted basis, putting increased downward fundamental pressure on prices.

"While the rising storage surplus may have prices capped for now, we continue to see potential over the intermediate term for a seasonal short-covering rally that could lift nearby futures back above the $3.00 level. Of course, it would help if we see at least some early cold to help set that recovery in motion."

Evans recommends "working a buy stop at $2.81 as the entry to a long position in December natural gas futures, then using a protective sell stop at $2.57 to limit the initial risk on the trade once the entry has been made."

Others see the December contract giving out bullish vibes as well. Technically, gas futures continue to waffle within a 20-cent trading range, but "with the December contract currently commanding a 20-cent premium over November, bulls appear to have the advantage for now," said Brian LaRose, a technical analyst with United ICAP, in closing comments Tuesday. .

In overnight Globex trading December crude oil fell 76 cents to $45.53/bbl and December RBOB gasoline fell a penny to $1.2781/gal.

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