Coming off a roaring advance in the previous session, natural gas futures continued to climb near the front of the curve in early trading Tuesday as analysts pointed to easing storage availability fears. The September Nymex contract was up 3.2 cents to $2.133/MMBtu at around 8:45 a.m. ET.
Monday’s stunning 30.2-cent rally for the September contract came amid a combination of hotter weather forecasts and signs of strengthening liquefied natural gas export demand, analysts at EBW Analytics Group noted.
“The October-January spread also shrunk 17.2 cents, with bulls disregarding the risk of a storage availability squeeze this fall,” the EBW analysts said. “While yesterday’s surge was partly due to a short-squeeze, the near-term push higher is not necessarily over. Over the next two days, the September contract could test support as low as $1.96 or resistance as high as $2.20-2.30.”
At ICAP Technical Analysis, analyst Brian LaRose told clients following Monday’s session that it remains to be seen whether the front month is peaking at current levels or if prices will continue higher.
“On one hand, we have an explosive move higher. On the other, natural gas is approaching the upper limits of this year’s trading range,” LaRose said. “So the big question, can the bulls muster the strength to keep the rally going? If they can, a push to $2.252-2.257-2.303-2.342, even $2.401-2.472 becomes possible from here. They just need to climb above $2.162-2.169.”
Meanwhile, the forecast outlook remained mostly unchanged overnight, with the European model maintaining recent hotter momentum to remain more than 15 cooling degree days warmer than the other datasets, according to NatGasWeather.
“Our expectation is the European model is likely too hot, as it’s been in most instances this summer,” the forecaster said. However, until one of the major models “loses demand, the natural gas markets appear to be preferring the hotter European scenario.
“It’s still a very warm to hot pattern returning over much of the U.S. late this weekend and next week for stronger national demand. It’s just a matter of exactly how hot. This very warm U.S. pattern is likely to last into late August, but with important details in need of resolving, especially since the weather data is struggling with differences” starting around the middle of next week.
Tropical Storm Isaias was thrashing the Mid-Atlantic coast early Tuesday, according to the National Hurricane Center (NHC). Carrying maximum sustained winds of 70 mph, the storm was about 15 miles from Tappahannock, VA, as of 8 a.m. ET.
“On the forecast track, the center of Isaias will continue to move near or along the coast of the Mid-Atlantic states today, and move across the northeastern United States into southern Canada tonight,” the NHC said.
September crude oil futures were down 70 cents to $40.31/bbl at around 8:45 a.m. ET, while September RBOB gasoline was down about 2.1 cents to $1.1932/gal.
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