The August Nymex contract fell 3.4 cents to $2.389 on Monday,amid a day when an extremely light 22,000 estimated total contractschanged hands. “We went from 123,000 contracts on Friday to almostnothing today. There just ain’t nothing going on,” a traderlamented. The fourth-of-July is typically among the lowest demandperiods of the year, and because the holiday falls so close to thefirst of the month, many cash market traders termed up incrementalgas through July 7th during bidweek, several sources reported. As aresult, the Merc pit lacked solid participation from commercials,and a broker expects that to continue throughout the week.

Weather has its obvious implications on commercial marketactivity, but the broker was serious when he assessed what currenttemperatures are doing to speculative traders: “If locals come in[today] and it’s dead again, they are going to take off for therest of the week. The weather is way too nice in Long Island rightnow. If there’s no activity, locals are going to the beach. You maysee daily volumes under 10,000 Wednesday and Thursday, unless theAGA storage report provides a big bang,” he said.

Since this is shaping up to be a pretty dull trading week, thebroker does not think August will be able to break out of itscurrent trading range. For that reason, he said to expect buying onmoves toward $2.32-34 and selling in the $2.45-48 area.

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