The June Nymex contract inched 2.4 cents higher to $2.159 onThursday, as traders entered a slight buying mode following the 8.0cent decline June turned in the previous session. “Today was a bigday in that the contract held technical support at $2.11,” ananalyst told GPI. Total estimated volume came in at 47,753contracts.

Despite Thursday’s uptick, many sources feel the short-termprice bias remains to the downside. “It’s sounding more and morelike [Friday] is going to be a give back day in the physicalmarket, so expect prices to slip [today],” a Houston based marketersaid.

The short-term weather outlook also doesn’t look too supportive,according to the Pegasus Econometrics Group of New York. In the May7 edition of its Natural Gas Report, the Group wrote, “the weatherpattern forecast for the middle of the month is also more bearishthan bullish. Above normal temperatures in the plains will limitlate heating demand, while below normal temperatures in southernCalifornia and the southeast will dampen early air conditioningrequirements.”

In daily technicals, June remains locked within a downwardsloping channel that has enveloped the contract since April 23. Atechnician places the bottom of that channel in the $2.00-02 range,but he believes June will be hard pressed to break below the$2.10-11 area. He said immediate resistance exists at the top ofthat channel in the $2.18-20 region, with secondary support at$2.26.

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