Following the lead established late Monday, natural gas futurescontinued higher yesterday day as short-term traders bought intothe rally. The August contract closed up 3.2 cents at $2.176,shortly after notching its $2.18 high trade for the day.

Opinions on the market’s direction differ depending on youroutlook. After last week’s downward correction, short-term tradersfeel comfortable trading the market within its recent $2.10-20range. On the other hand, longer-term outlooks call for prices totest and break below the $2.00 mark.

However, most short and long lead predictions agree weather andstorage will continue to play an important role throughout the restof the summer. And while the weather over much of the countryremains somewhat benign this week, bulls are hanging their hats onthe idea that the warm weather last week will have limited storageinjections. The American Gas Association will release its weeklyunderground storage report this afternoon and many expect a smallnet refill of gas to offer the market a boost. Market estimatescall for a 61-75 Bcf build, which if realized, would fall short oflast year’s 93 Bcf.

©Copyright 1999 Intelligence Press Inc. All rights reserved. Thepreceding news report may not be republished or redistributed, inwhole or in part, in any form, without prior written consent ofIntelligence Press, Inc.