The futures market continued to receive strong technicalfollow-through buying on Monday, adding to gains posted last weekthat some analysts feel could be signaling the end to the two-monthdowntrend in natural gas prices.

The July contract gapped higher on the open, and for the secondstraight day registered a settle at or near daily highs, indicatinga rising market. July settled at $2.10, up 6.5 cents for the day.

Some analysts noted the market could be receiving some supportfrom 100 degree heat in Texas and a South Texas nuclear unit (seemarket story) that went down over the weekend.

But the overriding consensus was that technical factors, andnot fundamentals were at work again on the NYMEX. “We gapped higherthis morning at the opening bell and that is bullish, but even moresignificant than that was the fact we did not trade low enough tofill in that gap [Monday],” a broker advised. He referred to thechart gap exposed above Friday’s high of $2.04, and below today’slow of $2.05.

If July can continue to make strides today, look for fairlyfrictionless trading until the $2.20-235 area. A move lower couldbe held in check by the aforementioned bottom of the chart gap at$2.04, a chartist advised.

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