In concert with double-digit cash market losses, natural gas futures slipped lower Friday as a fair number of sellers waited until the last 30 minutes of trading to shed their long positions. The expiring October contract was hardest hit by the selling, dropping 11.2 cents for the session to its final resting place at $4.43.
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Buoyed by forecasts for a warm-up in key eastern areas of the country and in concert with supportive technical factors, natural gas futures were higher Monday morning on a mix of fund short-covering and commercial trader buying. The September contract received the biggest boost, soaring to a new, one-month high of $5.22 just before noon. Afternoon profit-taking trimmed the market’s advance, leaving the prompt month to close at $5.129, up 9.2 cents for the session.
After breaking to a new 23-month high Tuesday morning in concert with higher cash market prices, natural gas futures sifted lower in the afternoon as traders liquidated long positions when it became apparent that $6.00 was not in the cards. The March contract closed at $5.762, down 0.4 cents for the session and nearly a dozen cents below its $5.88 high. At 84,273, estimated volume was unremarkable considering the market put in a new two-year top.
In concert with tumbling crude oil prices, natural gas futures cascaded lower in two distinct selling waves Monday as light profit taking enabled the market to fill a key gap left on the daily chart from mid-December. The February contract finished at $4.80, down 22.2 cents for the session. With just 32,305 changing hands, estimated volume was light, especially considering the size of the price move. Natural gas futures will cease trading at 1 p.m. EST Tuesday and re-open with Access trading at 7 p.m. Wednesday.
Resisting the temptation to drop lower in concert with weaker cash prices, natural gas futures rebounded off early session lows Monday as traders bought contracts at levels that, in weeks to come, might prove to be bargains. The October contract finished at $3.399, up 13.4 cents for the session and within striking distance of last week’s $3.445 high. Meanwhile, Henry Hub cash prices for September dropped 14 cents to average $3.24 on the day.
Amid easing concerns over a heating oil crisis this winter andsofter crude oil prices, natural gas futures were lower for thethird session in a row Friday as longs headed for the exits aheadof the weekend.
Acting in concert with a stay issued by the Interior Department’s Office of Hearings and Appeals, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has ordered Southern Natural Gas to stop its recently-begun construction work in a wildlife preserve along its mainline expansion route into northern Alabama.
Acting in concert with a stay issued by the InteriorDepartment’s Office of Hearings and Appeals, the Federal EnergyRegulatory Commission has ordered Southern Natural Gas to stop itsrecently-begun construction work in a wildlife preserve along itsmainline expansion route into northern Alabama.