December natural gas is set to open unchanged Wednesday morning at $2.63 as traders discount weather forecasts continuing to call for mild conditions with only brief interludes of cold. Overnight oil markets eased, and the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 287 points following the election of Donald Trump as U.S. president.
Overnight weather data changed little from the current lack of cooler, seasonal temperatures. "The latest overnight weather data maintained the trends of the past day and favors a couple more days of mostly mild and comfortable temperatures across the U.S. before a stronger cold blast arrives into the eastern U.S. Thursday through the coming weekend," said Natgasweather.com in a morning report to clients.
"This will result in a surge in natgas demand from current light levels. However, we also continue to anticipate this will be followed by several days of warming next week as high pressure returns to ease demand back below normal levels. Additional weather systems will follow late next week and beyond, but there remains considerable uncertainty in the amount of colder air out of Canada that will be tapped, and then also which regions will be impacted greatest."
The near-20 cent plunge in December futures Tuesday has market technicians scrambling to determine near-term trading objectives. This is "looking very much like natural gas is headed for a test of $2.489-2.437-2.424," said Brian LaRose, a market technician with United ICAP, in closing comments.
"This target represents our (A)=(C) objective down from the $3.366 high. Between here and there $2.627-2.604-2.579 is the only intermediate candidate for support we can identify. I am not anticipating anything more than a minor pause, if that, out of this area of contention.”
Others are also not optimistic. "We are now lower than the low of the November contract when it expired, and I tend to think we will get through $2.60 and the Elliott Wave marking of the end of wave three at $2.60 might be optimistic for price bulls," said David Thompson, principal with Powerhouse LLC, a Washington DC-based trading and risk management firm. "I think there is a good chance we get through $2.60."
In overnight Globex trading December crude oil fell 17 cents to $44.81/bbl and December RBOB gasoline fell fractionally $1.3668/gal.