Building on gains achieved in the Tuesday night Access tradingsession, natural gas futures plodded higher yesterday morningbefore spiking dramatically just minutes after fresh storage newswas released. The December contract rocketed to a high of $4.75 andultimately settled at $4.686, a 19.6-cent gain for the session.Estimated volume of 85,529 was evidence of the frenzied buyingactivity.
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Fueled by a larger-than-expected storage withdrawal and promptedby gains in Wednesday night’s Access session, natural gas futuresclimbed higher yesterday as traders lifted prices in a briskafternoon buying surge. The March contract finished up 5.2 cents at$2.592, but the real story was the outer months, which gained 6cents or more on moderate position rolling.
Following a knee-jerk buying frenzy during Wednesday night’sAccess trading session, natural gas futures shuffled mostlysideways yesterday as traders continued to weigh the impact oftechnical factors and weather forecasts on the already inflatedprice level. Including Access, the November contract was up 8.6cents at $3.064 yesterday, 0.1 cent less than the opening price.
A lightning strike Monday night at PG&E GasTransmission-Northwest’s Station 13 (Chemult, OR) caused ashortfall in receipts, but PG&E GT-NW said it worked with NOVAto correct respective linepacks under an Operational BalancingAgreement and thus did not expect any impact on Tuesday’s scheduledvolumes. However, it was unable to schedule any increased receiptsat Kingsgate or additional deliveries through Station 13 Tuesday.
After a brief uptick during the Wednesday night Access tradingsession, natural gas futures continued lower yesterday at the NewYork Mercantile Exchange and settled below key support levels. Julyfinished at $2.285, after carving out a $2.27 low early Thursdaymorning. Estimated volume of 95,938 was almost double that ofMonday and Tuesday.
Fresh off a 5-cent rally in Wednesday night’s Access session thefutures market bulldozed higher yesterday amid light speculativebuying. July finished its first day as the prompt month up 7.2cents to $2.282, after notching a $2.30 high early Thursdayafternoon. Estimated volume was heavy, with 85,664 contractschanging hands.
Thursday night’s Access gains, and higher prices in both theover-the-counter and cash market set the stage for the May futurescontract to blast off Friday. In fact, the buzz around the pit atNymex early Friday centered on when, not if, the prompt month wouldfill in the chart gap up to $2.19. But despite all the hoopla andbullish sentiment, the May contract could manage only a half-pennygain from its $2.16 open, leaving the market to trend lowerthroughout the rest of the day. May finished 1.3 cents lower at$2.124.