Propelled by a technical boost following Monday’s 23-centdecline, the natural gas futures market rallied during the firsthour of trading Tuesday as traders took profits on newlyestablished short positions. But after peaking at $2.31 momentsafter 11 A.M. EST, the December contract once again fell victim tothe same negative weather pattern that has weighed on prices theentire month. That downward momentum quickly took back the earlieradvances, depositing December to $2.189, down 0.8 cents for theday.
Articles from Decline
With freezing temperatures essentially a no-show throughout theU.S., cash prices continued to decline in most markets Wednesday,with the biggest declines occurring in the supply-engorged Rockies.However, except for western points most of the softness was mild,and some Northeast citygates registered moderate upticks.
Natural Gas futures slipped lower for the second day in a rowyesterday as light scale-down industrial buying was no match forcommercial and fund selling. The November contract traded to itslowest price in ten weeks at $2.52 before settling at $2.586, 3.9cents lower on the day.
Not even the best financial quarter since the fourth quarter of1997 could prevent BP Amoco from following through with itsjob-cutting plan as the company said it will cut 2,000 morepredominantly US jobs before the year is over. The integratedenergy giant has already slashed 12,500 jobs from the pay roll. Itwould not elaborate on which US jobs would be eliminated.
As sources had expected, the prolonged decline of the Junefutures contract throughout Tuesday’s trading made its influencefelt in softer cash prices Wednesday. But cash losses weredecidedly modest, with nearly all points registering drops of only2-4 cents. Futures offered only a tiny downtick of less than apenny as further guidance Wednesday.
“It was like a bad dream,” was one marketer’s summation ofWednesday’s 4-cent decline that was quickly recouped by yesterday’s4.1-cent advance. Another trader was a little more specific,attributing the downward blip to funds rolling positions from Mayto June. But regardless of the rationale, Wednesday’s lowersettle-the first one in the last seven sessions-looked like theGrand Canyon nestled among the Alps.