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Sustained Cold Elusive; December Seen 3 Cents Lower

December natural gas is set to open 3 cents lower Tuesday morning at $2.94 although near term weather forecasts turned slightly cooler elevating heating load. Overnight oil markets sagged.

"The current six-to-10 day forecast is cooler than [Monday's] forecast over the eastern half of the continental United States, aided by the day shift," said WSI Corp. in its morning report to clients. "The western U.S. is warmer.” Gas-weighted heating degree days “are +2.5 to 69.5, which are still 11.8 below average.

WSI cautioned that "the forecast could sway in either direction, this in part depends on the exact timing and details of a cold front. The south-central and eastern US have minor warmer risks ahead of the front, but there are some cooler risks behind the front. The interior West and north-central US have a warmer risk late."

PointLogic Energy's demand forecast is now estimating that total Lower 48 demand will not fall as significantly during the rest of this week as forecast yesterday.

PointLogic adjusted its demand forecast from Monday saying usage will not fall as far as earlier expected. PointLogic puts Tuesday demand at 62.705 Bcf/d, up 2.083 Bcf/d from normal, and by November 6 demand is estimated at 60.341 Bcf/d, down 2.560 Bcf/d from normal.

Weather bulls are looking for some love. "Although the natural gas market managed to eke out some slight gains yesterday, the establishment of fresh lows this morning keeps this short term down move valid in our opinion," said Jim Ritterbusch of Ritterbusch and Associates in a morning note to clients. "Although some cooler temps are beginning to show up in some of the forecasts beyond next week, there is still no indication of a sustained or broad based cold spell capable of forcing a bottom into this market.

"Since we don't look for much bullish assistance from this week's Energy Information Administration storage report and the small supply deficit is apparently unable to prompt buying, it is apparent that a major shift in the temperature views will be required to jump start a significant price advance back to above week ago highs at the $3.20 mark."

In overnight Globex trading December crude oil rose a penny to $54.16/bbl and December RBOB gasoline fell fractionally to $1.7086/gal.

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