Bulls and bears took turns influencing futures yesterday as themarket trended higher throughout regular pit trading, only to dropright back down to near unchanged in last night’s Access session.As is the case on any Wednesday, the price catalyst came in theform of the weekly AGA storage report released at the beginning ofAccess trading. The November contract experienced the largest priceswings of the strip, settling up 4.7 cents to $2.393 beforeretracing 3.3 cents lower to $2.36.
Articles from Leaves
The futures market concluded the week on a quiet note Friday asneither bulls nor bears were able to influence a move in theirfavor. After a lower open the November contract quickly filtereddown, filling in the chart gap to $2.35. But the $2.35 level held,and the market was left to trend higher into the closing bell. TheNovember contract settled at $2.432, a 1.8-cent gain on the day.
For the last several weeks the futures market has been a modelof volatility where one day’s gains were the next day’s losses.However, the market couldn’t make up its mind yesterday and afterabruptly spiking higher in the morning, ran into overheadresistance and subsequent selling that forced the market lower inthe afternoon. The October contract settled nearly unchanged forthe day at $2.186.
All the gas flowing to the Florida peninsula was cut off overthe weekend after a lightning strike Friday afternoon caused a fireand pipe rupture at Florida Gas Transmission’s Station 15 nearPerry, FL, and knocked out all downstream service. The 24-inch,30-inch and 36-inch mainlines that converge in the station yardwere affected.
A casual observer to Friday’s futures market would note themodest 0.7 cent gain registered by the prompt month and conclude itwas a quiet day of position squaring ahead of the weekend. However,trading in the pit was anything but serene as the prompt contractopened below $2.00, tested support from the continuation chart at$1.97, then moved higher looking to fill in a chart gap in the$2.05-09 range. And all that happened before the lunch hour in NewYork. Afternoon trading brought some selling pressure into themarket and July drifted back downward, before settling nearlyunchanged at $2.027 for the day. Estimated volume weighed in at ahefty 57,301 with trading within a 10-cent trading range.
The major accord signed by Canadian gas industry stakeholders lastweek that virtually assures construction of the Alliance Pipelineproject (See GPI Daily, April 9) hasmade the fate of the competing 1.4 Bcf/d Viking Voyageur projectextremely doubtful. Voyageur sponsors TransCanada PipeLines andNorthern States Power were in meetings all day Monday and Tuesday andan announcement is expected later this week. One Voyageur officialsaid all options are possible, including shelving the 800-milepipeline project.