Bulls and bears took turns influencing futures yesterday as themarket trended higher throughout regular pit trading, only to dropright back down to near unchanged in last night’s Access session.As is the case on any Wednesday, the price catalyst came in theform of the weekly AGA storage report released at the beginning ofAccess trading. The November contract experienced the largest priceswings of the strip, settling up 4.7 cents to $2.393 beforeretracing 3.3 cents lower to $2.36.
AGA storage expectations have varied widely this week as tradershave tried to take into account the net effect of Hurricane Georgesshut-ins on storage refills. Early this week estimates registeredin the 35-60 range for storage injections, with one forecast over70 Bcf. But estimates yesterday were being ratcheted down to 20-40Bcf. It was those lower expectations that helped the market movehigher in trading yesterday, sources agreed.
That advance was short-lived, however, and the market wastedlittle time taking back those gains upon the release of the weeklyAGA storage report. The report, showing a net injection of 41 Bcf,was met with immediate selling pressure in the computer-onlytrading session last night.
Looking ahead, many feel the opposing forces of bearishfundamentals and bullish technicals will continue to producechoppy, range bound trading. A California-based trader, who hasbeen unflinchingly bullish for the past month, feels themarket-longs need to watch this market for a possible spike lower.”I am still a bull in the long-run, but a settle below $2.35 couldtest the resolve of nervous bulls out there, of which, I am one.”
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