Trading at Nymex yesterday continued in the choppy, range-boundmanor that has plagued the market for most of November. Againtraders lamented the lack of a clear direction or price trend inthe futures pit. The December contract was held to a tight, 6-centtrading range and settled at $2.394 after never fully recoveringfrom a lower opening.
Articles from NYMEX
Tuesday’s cash market prices shrugged-off a late plunge on theNymex futures screen on Monday, as they edged upward on hype fromthe first big snowstorm of the season. Most price points added acouple of cents to Monday’s gains as a powerful storm system plowedeastward after tormenting the midsection of the country. Accordingto weather services, several inches of snow accumulated from theDakotas southwestward to Colorado and the mountains of northern NewMexico and Arizona.
Cash prices started the new week on an upward note, largelymotivated by an early Nymex run-up and forecasts of colder weatherfor some major market areas. Except for Northeastern markets, spotprices at most trading points registered gains ranging anywherefrom 1 to 6 cents in the Gulf Coast area to more than 20 cents inCalifornia markets.
Lack of follow-through selling kept the bears guessing yesterdayat Nymex as the market ignored a trio of bearish factors-weather,storage, and cash prices-to trade nearly unchanged on the day. TheNovember contract was limited to a tight trading range and settleddown just 0.4 cents to $2.176 for the day. Estimated volume was43,394.
High intra-day volatility continued at Nymex Tuesday whennatural gas futures came under selling pressure early in the dayonly to rebound late in the trading session to nearly unchangedlevels. Weak cash market prices were the talk of the market in themorning and it wasn’t until after pipeline nomination deadlines at12:30 PM eastern that futures were able to begin to recoup losses.The November contract settled for the day at $2.084, down 0.5 centsfor the day.
The futures market continued to spike higher at Nymex yesterday,adding to advances that have lifted the October contract 36.3 centssince last week. October finished the day up 11.8 cents to settleat $2.241. In doing so, natural gas futures set a new daily volumerecord with an estimated 142,867 contracts changing hands.
The futures market traded lower for most of the day Thursdaybefore cratering in the last 10 minutes of the trading session,leaving the market at its lowest level in years. The Septembercontract plumbed the lowest of any of the contracts, printing lowsat $1.61 just after 3:00 EST. However, an average of all tradesduring the last 30 minutes produced a final settlement of $1.672, a9-cent loss for the day and 27.5 for the week.
Cash prices started out Tuesday playing catch-up with the Nymexscreen’s late increases on Monday, but wound up either flat or withsmall gains after futures reversed field. Only supply-constrainedSumas managed an increase of more than about 4 cents, and numberswere down a few cents on some Rockies pipes and at NorthernCalifornia market points.
The bears were at it again at Nymex on Tuesday, prompting someanalysts to suggest the downtrend that has weighed on the marketfor over 4 months has resumed. The September contract was thehardest hit by the selling pressure, moving down 5.8 cents to$1.983 on the day.
Mondays have been bear-traders’ favorite day of the week atNymex with the last five producing losses to start the week. Themarket looked poised to continue that trend yesterday, but strongerprices mixed with concerns the market is nearing the bottombolstered the September contract 2.5 cents for the day. That leftthe prompt month at $1.869.