Advance

Technicals Trump Weather as Futures Post Modest Advance

Despite revised weather forecasts calling for a warm-up east of the Mississippi, natural gas futures shuffled higher Monday as traders continued to hedge for the possibility of a technical short-covering rally. The buying was concentrated in the morning hours and by 12:20 p.m. EST the February contract had already reached its peak for the day. However, only light selling was seen throughout the afternoon and as a result, the February contract managed to hold onto some of its morning advances. It finished at $2.25, up 4.6 for the session, but 7.5 cents off its high trade.

January 15, 2002

Futures Rebound, But Traders Skeptical of Advance

Shrugging off Thursday’s expiration-day sell-off, natural gas futures rebounded Friday, as traders took their cue from cold weather expected over the weekend and stronger cash market prices. The newly-crowned spot month February received the biggest buying boost, advancing 15.5 cents to finish the week at $2.774. Estimated volume of just 53,169 was evidence many traders elected to remain on the sidelines ahead of the weekend.

December 31, 2001

Buoyed by Crude Gains, Weather Hype, Futures Advance 9 Cents

Shrugging off losses notched in the overnight Access trading session, natural gas futures checked higher throughout the day Thursday as traders reacted to forecasts calling for a changing weather pattern in the second half of November. At the closing bell, the December contract was 9 cents higher at $2.96.

November 9, 2001

Industry Brief

El Paso Corp. said subsidiary El Paso Oil & Gas Canada Acquisition Inc. earlier this month received an advance ruling from the Canadian Competition Bureau regarding its proposal to acquire all the shares of Velvet Exploration Ltd. The Commissioner of Competition indicated El Paso would not be subjected to the regulatory process dealing with matters of competition, which keeps El Paso on track to complete the deal in the third quarter. The next step is to obtain approval under the Investment Canada Act, which requires review of significant non-Canadian investments in Canada. Under the terms of El Paso’s offer, which was announced on June 14, Velvet shareholders would receive C$8.15 in cash for each Velvet common share, or a total of about US$280 million, including the assumption of US$52 million.

July 24, 2001

Futures Falter; Opinions Differ on Next Price Move

After sailing 27.5 cents higher in a three-day price advance last week, natural gas futures hit the buying doldrums Friday as traders elected to liquidate new positions rather than go home for the weekend long and risk an adverse price move Monday. The dissipation of Tropical Depression 2 prompted a mammoth 4-cent gap lower open and the August contract never recovered, closing 17.8 cents lower for the day at $3.25. Estimated volume was relatively light as only 52,913 contracts changed hands.

July 16, 2001

Bucking the Trend, Futures Post a Wednesday Advance

Natural gas futures traders have, over the course of the last decade, demonstrated the uncanny ability to look past an in-your-face fundamental indicator and focus instead on an obscure technical benchmark or their perception of data yet-to-be-released. Yesterday was a textbook example of the latter being played out as traders ignored another hefty storage injection to focus instead on their expectations of next week’s release. This was evident in the market’s price action late yesterday afternoon as the August contract rebounded from its pre-AGA lows to finish with a 6-cent gain at $3.342.

July 12, 2001

Bears Exert Their Influence; Repeal Early Advance

After failing to sustain a fresh 10-day high notched yesterday morning, natural gas futures tumbled lower Monday as traders once again eschewed the long side of the market for more than a couple hours. The prompt August contract finished at $3.153, 6.5 cents lower for the day and 18.2 cents off its high water mark for the session. The losses were also seen in the out months, which, for the most part, experienced more severe losses. The winter strip declined 8.1 cents to $3.867 and the 12-month strip dropped a cool 8 cents to $3.619.

July 10, 2001

California Emissary Hones in on FERC

Stepping up the campaign for power price caps in advance of FERC’s meeting on the issue today, (1 p.m. at the Commission offices), S. David Freeman, senior energy advisor to the California governor, told a press briefing last week in Washington, DC, of the state’s “desperate need for FERC to bring prices down to just and reasonable rates.” The Commissioners should exercise their legal independence from the White House, he added.

June 18, 2001

California Emissary Hones in on FERC

Stepping up the campaign for power price caps in advance of FERC’s meeting on the issue next Monday (June 18, 1 p.m. at the Commission offices), S. David Freeman, senior energy advisor to the California governor, told a press briefing in Washington, DC, of the state’s “desperate need for FERC to bring prices down to just and reasonable rates.” The Commissioners should exercise their legal independence from the White House, he added.

June 13, 2001

Futures Back Above $4.00 on Heat and Techs

Notching its first back-to-back price advance since mid-May, natural gas futures shot higher at the opening bell Monday as warmer-than-expected temperatures prompted commercial buyers to pressure the July contract through several layers of resistance. After the initial buying surge, however, the market quieted considerably, leaving prices to shuffle sideways throughout much of the session. July finished at $4.069, up 13.9 cents for the day.

June 5, 2001