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Screen Gain Leads Cash Prices to Modest Firming

Screen Gain Leads Cash Prices to Modest Firming

The cash market was flat to a little higher Wednesday, and once again sources had little but the Henry Hub futures contract to cite as an influence. Most points were flat or just barely higher, however, with only a few coming close to matching the futures rise of over a nickel. The screen seems to be about the only thing happening for cash, a Midcontinent trader said, "but it [screen] is not running on fundamentals, just technicals."

A Northeast buyer found it hard to tell what was keeping gas prices up. "It seems like supply is plentiful," she said. "A bunch of sellers were emerging near the end" of Wednesday's trading session.

An Oklahoma marketer tended to agree. Even with the relative firmness of prices Wednesday, there didn't appear to be any "good" buying out there to him except in the Texas market. "This market seems poised for weakening, but it just isn't happening yet," he said. Texas demand was fairly strong due to gradually rising air conditioning load, he said. Power generation volumes aren't nearly as strong yet in Texas or the rest of the South as they usually are in the summer, "but we're getting there," he added.

Though it came too late to affect Wednesday quotes, the AGA storage report of 71 Bcf in injections was considered mildly bullish by several sources.

Sumas quotes remained strong in the high $1.90s despite a Westcoast declaration of zero tolerance for banking gas on the system until further notice (see Transportation Notes), but a Calgary trader said prices are almost certain to be falling there today.

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