Natural gas futures trended lower early Friday amid hints of long-range warmth but ultimately finished nearly flat as cash markets and export demand held strong. The February Nymex gas futures contract settled at $4.262/MMBtu, down eight-tenths of a cent day/day. March, however, gained 7.6 cents to $4.081.


At A Glance:

  • Cold front looms but may not last into February
  • Further freeze-offs could keep output low
  • European demand for U.S. exports remains high

Cash prices also advanced. Forecasts showed strong heating demand both near term and later in January that boosted physical prices Friday. NGI’s Spot Gas National Avg. gained 34.0 cents to $6.790.

In addition to expectations for bitter cold and snow over the weekend in swaths of the Midwest and East, NatGasWeather said the...