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Risk Managers Looking to Sell; October Called 4 Cents Higher

October natural gas is set to open 4 cents higher Monday morning at $2.93 as weather forecasts near term turn warmer. Overnight oil markets were mixed.

"[Monday's] six- to 10-day period forecast is much warmer than Friday's forecast over the eastern two thirds of the Continental United States," said WSI Corp. in its morning report. "The West and adjacent portions of the north-central U.S. are much cooler.” Continental United States population-weighted cooling degree days (CDD) “are up 5.9 to 31.7, which are 5.2 above average. Gas-weighted heating degree days are 5.4.

"Even with the changes to the forecast, there are some warmer risks over the southern and eastern U.S. early in the period, while the upside risk shifts into the Midcontinent late."

The National Weather Service (NWS) predicts above normal accumulations of CDDs for the week. For the week ended Sept. 16, NWS predicts New England will see 19 CDD or 14 greater than normal, and the Mid-Atlantic should experience 25 CDDs, or 10 greater than its seasonal norm. The greater Midwest from Ohio to Wisconsin should endure 16 CDDs or right at the seasonal average.

Risk managers are looking for higher prices to establish short hedges.

"[D]emand destruction outweighed [Harvey] production shut ins, which drove the market lower," said Mike DeVooght, president of DEVO Capital in a weekend note to clients. "We will probably see more demand destruction as a result of hurricane Irma. Florida is a large consumer of natural gas. Cooler weather in the South and East is also pressing the natural gas market.

"On a trading basis, we continue to look for natural gas to revisit the bottom of its recent range in the near future. We continue to stand aside for speculators and await or 'hope' for a more significant rally to re-establish producer hedges."

In overnight Globex trading October crude oil rose 23 cents to $47.71/bbl and October RBOB gasoline dropped 3 cents to $1.6137/gal.

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