A casual observer to Friday’s futures market would note themodest 0.7 cent gain registered by the prompt month and conclude itwas a quiet day of position squaring ahead of the weekend. However,trading in the pit was anything but serene as the prompt contractopened below $2.00, tested support from the continuation chart at$1.97, then moved higher looking to fill in a chart gap in the$2.05-09 range. And all that happened before the lunch hour in NewYork. Afternoon trading brought some selling pressure into themarket and July drifted back downward, before settling nearlyunchanged at $2.027 for the day. Estimated volume weighed in at ahefty 57,301 with trading within a 10-cent trading range.

One analyst trying to make sense of the day’s events felt themost compelling thing was the extent the commercial traders steppedin once it was clear the $1.97 level would hold. “They becamestrong buyers all the way up. That tells me they see good value in$2.00 July gas. And why not? With the cool weather plus theslackened demand for the weekend, prices might not venture muchfurther.”

Friday also saw the release of the CFTC’s Commitment of Traders.That report, showed non-commercials were still net short by nearly17,000 contracts. However, Susannah Hardesty, President of EnergyResearch & Trading Inc. of Greencastle, IN, is bullish for morefundamental reasons. “We are in a truly unusually weather patternright now for June. This weekend is due to be pretty cool for mostparts of the country. We started picking up some length in thismarket today and will be anxiously waiting to see if we see anyfollow-through on Monday.”

July would first encounter congestion in the 2.07-095 levelahead of strong resistance at $2.235. Support at $1.97 still standsto thwart a continuation of the downtrend, a chartist advised.

On another note, NYMEX has announced its Cinergy and Entergyelectricity futures contracts will begin trading July 10, listing18 months starting with September. Options on the two new contractswill be launched on Aug. 7, with six months initially listedbeginning with an October contract. Another six months will belisted for trading on Aug. 14.

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