May cash prices made a stab at climbing a little higherWednesday, and indeed, one trader said he was “still struggling” tobuy Sonat gas with offers in the low $2.30s. But other sources,while agreeing there was an early push for higher prices, said thenumbers were starting to soften again in the afternoon. “Everybodywent to lunch and then things fell apart,” as a marketer put it.
Articles from Rally
Technically, you could call Tuesday’s price action at the NewYork Mercantile Exchange a rally. Not only because the spot Maycontract rose 9.2 cents to $2.561, but also because the marketmoved on strong technical buying. “Funds got back in the market ina big way,” a trader succinctly surmised, referring to an estimatedvolume figure which came in at more than 100,000 contractsyesterday.
For the third day in a row the April Futures contract tested butwas unable to break through the $2.185 resistance level, stoppingshort at $2.172 Wednesday. April opened higher in sympathy withHenry Hub cash market prices, which eked out a couple-cent gain onthe day, but it was limited to a 4-cent trading range with arelatively light 31,462 contracts changing hands.
The overall price trend was up again Tuesday, but the market washardly a model of consistency. Some points, such as the Northernand Southern California borders and PG&E citygates, barelymanaged to maintain flatness or eke out small gains, while otherssuch as Waha and Northeast citygates continued to surge upward byas much as a dime or more. A marketer reporting Transco Zone 6(NYC) topping $2.60 said she hadn’t expected to see those kind ofnumbers again until next fall at the earliest.