NYMEX

September Futures Continue Price Slide

September debuted as the spot Nymex contract Thursday in afairly uneventful fashion, by first trading briefly higher, beforelight selling pushed the market down to settle at $1.906, a 2.7cent loss for the day. Traders continue to point to the currentdowntrend that “exerts its influence on this market at every turn,”as a reason for the move lower. “[Thursday] there was not muchimpetus to move higher or lower, but the mentality in this marketcontinues to be buy little dips and sell the rest of the time,” atrader offered.

July 31, 1998

Downtrend Dominates Futures; August Slips Back Below $2

For the fifth Monday in a row the bears were dominant in the pitat Nymex as trade and speculative selling pushed natural gas down,effectively erasing gains registered on Friday. Most of the day’smovement happened on the open, leaving the August contract to tradein the mid $1.90s for the rest of the day before closing at $1.965,down 6.6 cents.

July 28, 1998

Futures Inch Lower Seeking Confirmation of a Bottom

Nymex futures gave an early “head fake” looking to rebound fromlosses registered on Tuesday, but the move was insubstantial,giving way to minor softening before the close Wednesday. That leftthe market still in limbo without a clear signal whether the bottomhad been reached. The August contract slipped 1.7 cents to settleat $1.934 during relatively high volume of 82,830.

July 23, 1998

Futures Resist Opportunity to Continue Lower

The August Nymex contract probed lower yesterday but managed torebound before the close, bringing an end the price slide sincelast Thursday’s $2.425 high. Tuesday’s choppy trade left the spotmonth up 1.7 cents at $2.226 on the day. Despite the tight tradingrange and modest gain posted for the day, the session was anythingbut uneventful. Estimated volume confirmed the active market with53,327 contracts changing hands.

July 15, 1998

August Futures Face Major Bearish Hurdle

The August Nymex contract may have taken a significant steptoward posting further losses on Friday, but the jury on that isstill out. After August fell below major support at $2.32 Friday,enough buyers stepped in to prevent the spot month from moving anylower than $2.30. That enabled August to settle the day down 4.0cents to $2.309, but more selling could be in store when tradingresumes today. “I think a lot of traders took off early Fridayafternoon, or were simply not interested in putting in fresh openpositions before the weekend,” an analyst commented.

July 13, 1998

August Futures Remain Mired In Trading Range

$2.43 continued to be a stubborn resistance level for the AugustNymex contract on Thursday, as yesterday marked the fourthconsecutive day the spot month failed to move above this key shortterm price objective. On the other hand, Thursday was also thefourth day in a row that August failed to move below key technicalsupport at $2.32. The inability for August to move significantly ineither direction helped lead the contract down 1.7 cents to settlethe day at $2.349.

July 10, 1998

Futures Traders Expect A Weak Volume Week

The August Nymex contract fell 3.4 cents to $2.389 on Monday,amid a day when an extremely light 22,000 estimated total contractschanged hands. “We went from 123,000 contracts on Friday to almostnothing today. There just ain’t nothing going on,” a traderlamented. The fourth-of-July is typically among the lowest demandperiods of the year, and because the holiday falls so close to thefirst of the month, many cash market traders termed up incrementalgas through July 7th during bidweek, several sources reported. As aresult, the Merc pit lacked solid participation from commercials,and a broker expects that to continue throughout the week.

June 30, 1998

July Futures Expire With Little Price Change

The July Nymex contract went off the board in wild fashionFriday, as the spot month reached a high of $2.45 before plummetingto a low of $2.33 just before the closing bell. Despite thevolatility, July’s final $2.358 settlement price left the contractdown just 0.6 cents for the day.

June 29, 1998

July Futures Post Slight Gain, Prepare to Expire

The July Nymex contract gained 2.8 cents to settle Monday at$2.364, thanks in large measure to momentum the contract gainedafter it filled in the technical chart gap with its early move downto $2.295. However, the upside was capped by resistance at $2.43,and July settled right in the middle of its technical tradingrange. “July trading is pretty much in cruise control now,” asource said. “A lot of people have already gotten out of theirpositions, so I think you’ll see the rangebound trading continue[today]. However, that range is 15 cents, so trading will mostlikely be volatile, which will be the first time in months acontract has expired with a good dose of volatility,” he told GPI.

June 26, 1998

Intense Heat Keeps Pressure on Futures Prices

The July Nymex futures contract crept up another 2.9 cents tosettle Tuesday at $2.391, as hot weather and subsequent strong cashmarket prices continued to support the futures strip. July reacheda high of $2.41 on the day, which is just 2 cents shy of its nextresistance level. However, one source feels the spot month may havetrouble breaking that level in regular trading today since heexpects many traders to stay on the sidelines in anticipation ofthe latest AGA storage report, to be released this evening.

June 24, 1998