Natural gas futures eked out its eighth-straight daily gainyesterday as traders erased early foray into negative territorywith storm-related buying in the afternoon. The September contractled the charge, advancing 4.9 cents to finish at $4.468. Estimatedvolume was light as only 58,956 contracts changed hands.

Traders were quick to point to cash prices, which slippedseveral cents at most locations as a reason for the early priceweakness. However, that selling pressure came to a screeching haltwhen the market received news from a prominent private forecasterthat a tropical wave located in the Northwest Caribbean Sea hadbecome better organized and had a 15% chance of reaching hurricanein status in the Gulf of Mexico.

Another factor that was hard for traders to overlook yesterdaywas revised temperature forecasts that call for the warmest air ofthe season to find its way into the Northeast and Mid-Atlanticregions of the country next week.

Looking ahead, bulls are confident that Thursday’s strong closewill lead to further gains today. “We finished just off the highstoday and put in the fourth highest daily settlement for theSeptember contract. The trend is still higher,” a California tradersaid.

However, a broker is skeptical of yesterday’s advance, which henotes came on very low trading volume. “In this $4.00-plus world,you’ve got a lot of uncertainty and anxiety. On one side, you couldmake the case for prices to continue higher amid hurricane hype andwarm weather. On the other hand, this market could lose someserious ground very quickly. Either way, until liquidity increases,you can expect to see large daily ranges.”

In daily technicals, resistance is seen at $4.64. Support isseen at $4.23 and $4.09, a technician said.

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