The relatively small declines in Eastern markets Fridaysurprised some traders. Although down another 2-5 cents overall,pipes in the Gulf Coast and Midcontinent were rebounding late tolevels essentially flat from Thursday. The weakness in Thursdayafternoon’s Access futures trading pushed prices down early Friday,a marketer said, “then things came back up when the Merc showed alittle strength.” Although the screen eventually shed its gains towind up basically unchanged, that occurred too late to impact cashtrading.
Articles from Losses
After posting losses in the Tuesday evening Access session, theJuly Nymex contract gapped lower on the open yesterday, thencontinued to falter closing at $2.106, down a nickel. The contractwas held within a tight 4 cent range between $2.095-135 whichalmost identically mirrored Henry Hub cash prices on the day.Estimated volume was 41,493
Thursdays have been a bearish trader’s best friend lately withthree of the last four featuring follow-through selling on theheels of some hefty storage refill estimates. However, yesterdaydid not follow true to form, as traders digested alarger-than-expected 92 Bcf American Gas Association storage refillestimate then managed to push July up 2.5 cents to settle at$2.071. In doing so, several traders remarked, July exhibitedJune-like characteristics marked by narrow trading ranges amidrelatively low volume. June looked to expire without much fussearlier in the week, then the bottom dropped out on the last day.It “looks as if that was more a case of people liquidatingpositions then anything,” a trader reasoned.
Traders returned Tuesday from a long weekend to find a much morerobust May cash market than they had left behind Friday. Many hadbeen impressed by the strong recovery of the June Henry Hub futurescontract Friday after it briefly dipped under $2, a Texas marketersaid. “We were immediately up to Friday’s highs as trading begantoday.” Weather demand wasn’t much of a factor as cool butcomfortable temperatures reign in the Midwest and Northeast marketareas, he added, “but there were still plenty of buyers up there.”
The May futures contract suffered a third straight day of lossesby slipping a mere 0.6-cents to settle at $2.469 in relativelyquiet trading. The session was marked by light selling as bearsprobed for sell-stops but was kept in check by buying ahead of the2.435-.440 level. A modest 31,695 contracts changed hands in asession that saw no new fundamental developments.
Despite Tuesday’s overall price losses, the rising trend astrading progressed carried over into Wednesday and resulted inmoderate to strong rebounds. Increases mostly were in the range of5-10 cents and tended to cancel out the Tuesday declines.