June Futures Make Big Noise With Small Price Change

The June Nymex contract may have only slipped a mere 1.9 centsto $2.202 on Friday, but that small price change may loom verylarge indeed. By virtue of not settling above $2.22, “we’ve takenout and settled below the up trendline, establishing at least ashort term downtrend, if not a sideways trading range,” said TomSaal, Vice-President of Pioneer Futures in Miami. “I think themarket rode up to $2.70 because of speculative buying, and also onthe expectations of a hotter summer. Well, we haven’t met thoseexpectations yet, and now the market has tumbled back down,” hesaid.

May 4, 1998

Storage Data May Push June Futures Lower

The June Nymex contract made its debut as the spot month byslipping 1.3 cents to settle $2.298 on Wednesday. Volume wasmoderate, with an estimated 40,133 contracts changing hands.

April 30, 1998

May Futures Expire Lower, Rest of Strip Higher

After all the volatility surrounding the May Nymex contract oflate, the spot month spent what is typically one of any contract’smost volatile trading days (its expiration) by slipping only 0.4cents to settle Tuesday at $2.262. A trader said late strengthpushed June and the rest of the outmonths up a couple of cents forthe day, and noted May would have expired with a gain, had it notbeen for a fund dumping a large position within the last 30 minutesof trading.

April 29, 1998

The News From The Merc Is No Better For Bulls

The May Nymex contract continued its spirited dive into lowerterritory Thursday by falling another 7.0 cents to settle at$3.328. May has now lost nearly a quarter since Tuesday, andestimated volume has totaled more than 250,000 contracts over thelast two days. “The amount of trading volume has been incredible.Of course, open interest had been at an all time high, so theseheavier trading days should be expected. Much of this is the workof speculative funds who continue to take profits and exit theiropen positions ahead of May’s expiration next Tuesday,” a sourcetold GPI.

April 24, 1998

Futures Traders End Week With Little Fanfare

The May Nymex contract nudged 0.4 cents lower to $2.475 Friday,amid a day when the contract could neither sustain a move belowtechnical support at $2.44 nor rise any higher than $2.498. Totalestimated volume came in at 46,216, much of which was the work oftraders covering positions before the weekend, a source said.

April 20, 1998

May Futures Flirt With Technical Support

Just when it appeared the May Nymex contract was in a positionto resume its upward ways, the contract duped hopeful bullishtraders by falling 4.2 cents to $2.479 Thursday. Perhaps moreimportant than the magnitude of the loss is that May failed to moveabove resistance at $2.56, and that the contract spent time belowits significant $2.465 level for a time Thursday before recoveringduring its final half hour of trading.

April 17, 1998

May Futures Inch Higher Amid Dull Session

The May Nymex contract continued to slowly rebound from itsmassive price downturn on Monday by closing Wednesday up another2.0 cents at $2.521. Trading was held to an extremely tight range,as the spot month could only post a high of $2.555. Total volumewas estimated at 255,671 contracts.

April 16, 1998

May Futures Seek Second Crack at $2.70 Level

The May Nymex contract continued its assault into higherterritory last week, as the spot month made its first ever tripabove the $2.70 mark. In fact, May set its new all-time high of$2.725 Thursday morning before strong profit taking ahead of thelong holiday weekend drove May down to a Friday settle of $2.567,up an overall 10.1 cents for the week.

April 13, 1998

May Futures Trading Starts The Week On a Slow Note

The May Nymex contract nudged 2.1 cents lower to $2.535 Mondayamid a session marked by a relatively light total estimated volumefigure of just over 30,000 contracts. “Many traders are waiting fordirection from the cash market, and since that hardly moved today,it makes sense futures hardly budged either,” an analyst told GPI.

April 7, 1998

Thursday Is $2.60 Day for May Gas Futures

The May Nymex contract continued its strong charge higher onThursday, reaching a high of $2.605 before ultimately settling up6.1 cents at $2.562. More impressive than the increase, however,was the estimated volume figure. Coming on the heels of Wednesday’shigh trade volume, Thursday saw over 100,000 contracts tradinghands. This leaves little doubt speculators played a role in May’srise yesterday. Even though current Henry Hub prices are 15-20cents lower than that, the current heat wave is waking people up tothe possibility of extreme air conditioning demand this summer, ananalyst told GPI. “The supply/demand balance has been so tight forso long, that his extra demand is highlighting potential problemsthis summer. There are already problems with coal delivery inTexas, and if that continues into the summer, watch out,” he said.

April 3, 1998