The mid-$2.60s have been a pivotal level for natural gas futuresover the past year. Last November, the December contract managed totrade up to $2.64 — the high price during the “winter thatwasn’t” — before crashing more than a dollar to February lows.Then in July, many market watchers pointed to the August’s abilityto clear the $2.60 level as a harbinger of things to come. OnWednesday once again a line was drawn in the sand at the $2.65level. If the market stays above that level, we can retest thehighs, bull traders insisted. But a settlement below that levelcould spawn a round of selling, countered market bears.
Articles from November
Late-November price softness showed little sign of abating inpost-weekend activity Monday, and except for residents of theNorthwest and Upper Plains enduring somewhat nasty weather, thereason was apparent to anybody who went outdoors. Temperaturesapproaching the Thanksgiving holiday are unseasonably mild for thegreat majority of the U.S., and the lack of load combined with theearly stages of storage withdrawal season were depressing both cashand futures numbers. Quotes were mostly flat for the SouthernCalifornia border and TCO; otherwise price declines tended to rangefrom about a nickel to more than a dime.
After tapping on the brakes a few times Wednesday, theresurgence in November prices had its foot back on the acceleratorThursday. While not quite pedal-to-the-metal as in Tuesday’s gainsthat often hit 30 cents or more, double-digit increases againdominated the cash market.