On a day of heightened volatility, the January Nymex natural gas futures contract rebounded sharply ahead of expiration as robust liquefied natural gas (LNG) demand took center stage. Though a full recovery from Monday’s steep sell-off proved difficult, the January contract expired a whopping 16.2 cents higher at $2.467. The February contract, which takes over the prompt position on Wednesday, jumped 11.8 cents to $2.444.


Spot gas prices were mixed, but several locations across the country posted double-digit gains. NGI’s Spot Gas National Avg. ultimately slipped 1.0 cent to $2.525.

Whether Tuesday’s swift turnaround in the futures market is warranted is up for debate. That’s primarily because nothing much has changed on the weather front. The latest weather models still...