November natural gas is expected to open 3 cents lower Tuesday morning at $2.89 as forecasts call for warmer than normal temperatures across the nation's midsection and traders attempt to determine the impact of Hurricane Matthew. Overnight oil markets were mixed.
Traders see a rangebound market. "Although this market was able to sustain a late-session rebound, the early price decline below the $2.88 mark pushed us back into a neutral camp as it appears that some choppy/wide swinging price action will lie ahead in possibly leaving values unchanged from current levels a couple of weeks down the road," said Jim Ritterbusch of Ritterbusch and Associates in closing comments Monday to clients.
"The market is receiving little assistance from the weather factor at the present time as weekend updates to the one- to two-week temperature views are advising mild patterns that will be downsizing both heating and cooling demand into the third week of this month. And while a need to inject storm premium is often price supportive at this time of the year Atlantic activity has been relatively subdued this year.
"While hurricane Matthew will be receiving much media attention during the next few days, it doesn't currently look like a threat to the GOM production alleys. As a result, we look for this market to likely stay confined to today's highs and lows for a couple of sessions until the weekly EIA storage report offers additional guidance."
Weather forecasters are calling for a warmer Midcontinent in the 11- to 15-day period. "The models have continued to shift the track of major hurricane Matthew closer to the East Coast late this week and into the weekend, with concerns for the Florida coast up through the Southeast and with some impacts in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast potentially, too, depending on how quickly it curves back to sea," said Commodity Weather Group in its Tuesday morning report.
"Cooling behind the storm still runs the risk of being a bit stronger in the Midwest and East especially as shown especially on the American and Canadian modeling, but then we still see the setup for a bigger warmer pattern getting going for the 11-15 day range."
In its 8 a.m. EDT report, the National Hurricane Center (NHC) said Hurricane Matthew was 125 miles south of the eastern tip of Cuba and was heading north at 9 mph. Maximum sustained winds were 145 mph and NHC was projecting Matthew to follow a path across the Bahamas and up the eastern coast of Florida.
In overnight Globex trading November crude oil fell 34 cents $48.47/bbl and November RBOB gasoline rose a penny to $1.4801/gal.