Natural gas futures traders must think fireworks are an overrated way to ring in the new year, as the only sparks on Thursday were those resulting from prices slamming the pavement. The February Nymex futures contract dropped 28.9 cents to settle at $3.561/MMBtu in its debut at the front of the curve. March tumbled 26.1 cents to $3.435.

At A Glance:

  • EIA prints 154 Bcf withdrawal 
  • Warmth to follow weekend cold
  • Production nears 98 Bcf/d

Spot gas, which traded Thursday for gas delivery Saturday through Monday, staged a major rally, though. With frigid air seen sliding deep into the United States and lingering through the early part of the week, NGI’s Spot Gas National Avg. jumped 50.0 cents to $4.360.

Weather models continued to show cold weather for the next couple of weeks...