Fresh off a 5-cent rally in Wednesday night’s Access session thefutures market bulldozed higher yesterday amid light speculativebuying. July finished its first day as the prompt month up 7.2cents to $2.282, after notching a $2.30 high early Thursdayafternoon. Estimated volume was heavy, with 85,664 contractschanging hands.

Sources polled by NGI agreed that the Wednesday evening releaseof storage data by the American Gas Association triggered theadvance. The AGA said 73 Bcf was injected into underground storagefacilities last week and that figure fell short of the importantbenchmarks of market expectations, and both last week’s and lastyear’s refill.

However looking ahead, a Midcontinent marketer feels demandrather than supply will hold the key to price direction for June.”Weather remains the wildcard. Everyone pretty much knew wherestorage was going to be. When the Midwest gets hit with its firstreal blast of hot air and the electric generating load kicks in,then we will see if prices move higher as people scramble to findgas.”

In daily technicals the New York-based Pegasus EconometricGroups pegs support at $2.17 ahead of $2.13 and $2.04. Resistancestands at $2.32 and $2.375, the group said.

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