Natural gas futures probed higher early Monday, with bulls seizing upon favorable near-term weather, steady export demand and market expectations for a seasonally robust inventory withdrawal. But intensifying stress in the global financial system ultimately curbed the momentum and left futures in the red as markets closed.

At A Glance:

  • Mixed weather outlook
  • All eyes on Freeport LNG
  • Bank system worries mount

The April Nymex gas futures contract settled at $2.223/MMBtu, down 11.5 cents day/day. May also fell 11.5 cents to close at $2.331.

NGI’s Spot Gas National Avg. slipped 2.0 cents to $2.530 ahead of a break from cold weather.

Monday futures trading extended losses from Friday. The prompt month lost 4% last week.

NatGasWeather said American and European weather...