Fresh news means everything in commodities trading and naturalgas traders had their choice of bearish factors to point toyesterday. The one-two combo of the storage surplus and coolerweather put sellers in the driver’s seat once again, and theyreacted swiftly Wednesday evening by pushing the market lower inthe after hours Access trading session. The July contract Thursday,tumbled 10.5 cents to finish at $2.355 in heavy trading.

The American Gas Association was the first to strike Wednesdaywhen it released what many traders thought to be an undeniablybearish storage report, featuring a 91 Bcf injection. But beforetraders had a chance to digest the storage Wednesday, The NationalWeather Service (NWS) hit the market with more negative news. Inits latest six- to 10-day forecast, the NWS looks for below normaltemperatures for the huge gas consuming swath that stretches fromTexas to Virginia.

And the three- to five-day forecast isn’t any better. “Lastweekend you were a fool to be short. This weekend you’re a fool tobe long. Weather is due to moderate, and that will not bail outprices like it did last Friday,” he said.

However, a western trader fears prices are headed higher andbelieves now is the time to lock in winter requirements. “Any pullback [in prices] will be met by aggressive buying by those who havebeen sidelined during this artificially inflated rise in prices.”

Looking ahead, several market watchers feel the market may haveto wait until early next week for some positive news. Although itis too early to tell, some believe it is possible for next week’sstorage refill to be about half the comparable 108 Bcf injectionfigure from the same week last year.

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