Shrugging off prior-day screen weakness, natural gas cash market points on Wednesday for Thursday delivery linked together a third consecutive day of across-the-board gains, with most points adding between 38 and 60 cents.
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Shrugging off the sluggishness of the last couple of sessions, July natural gas on Wednesday hit the ground running after gapping higher to open. The prompt-month contract put in a high of $6.660 before closing at $6.590, up 42.7 cents on the day. Attention now turns to Thursday’s fresh storage news.
Shrugging off lingering technical bullishness, the natural gas futures market tumbled lower Thursday as traders adjusted their positions in reaction to slightly bearish supply news. Light trading volume at Nymex due to traders’ observance of Yom Kippur was seen as adding to the price volatility, with the November contract carving out a wide, 41-cent trading range. It closed for the session at $13.103, down 42.1 cents for the day.
Shrugging off what appeared on face value to be a bearish natural gas storage report, February natural gas futures on Thursday morning chose to follow the weather story instead, jumping significantly higher following two consecutive days of decline. The prompt month peaked at $6.52 on the session before settling at $6.445, up 50.2 cents from Wednesday’s settle.
Shrugging off the urge to cover short positions, natural gas futures traders added to Friday’s sell-off Monday as they pressured the expiring July contract to its lowest level in two weeks. With that the July contract completed its tenure as prompt month in undeniably bearish fashion, slipping 21.2 cents to close at $6.141. At 88,613, estimated volume was light for an expiration-day.
Shrugging off gains achieved in the nearby crude oil pit, the natural gas futures market set new lows for the week Friday as traders liquidated positions in concert with some negative technical factors and ahead of mild weather expected this week. At $6.442, the newly-anointed prompt month July was down 13.1 cents for the session, but still up 3.3 cents for the week.
Shrugging off a 9.1-cent loss Thursday related to profit-taking, the June natural gas futures contract climbed right back into things Friday, closing up 7.5 cents on the day to settle at $6.294. Friday capped a wild week that saw a 36.9-cent breakout gain on Monday, vaulting the prompt month well over the psychological $6 mark.
After shrugging off the undeniably bearish news that 28 Bcf was pulled from storage last week, the natural gas futures market turned dramatically higher Thursday afternoon to notch new 6-week highs. Commercial buyers — sparked by the growing concern that prices in the low- to mid- $5.00s may not be around for much longer — were seen as the featured buyers early in the afternoon. However, when it became apparent that prices were on a tear, the speculators jumped into the buying fray, covering shorts on the way up.
Shrugging off medium-range forecasts calling for moderating temperatures, natural gas futures shot to new 22-month highs Wednesday as traders bid the market up in sympathy with stronger cash market prices and ahead of bullish storage data due out Thursday morning. Locals sold on the higher opening, but were then quickly forced to cover their sales as the market continued higher. New longs added to the buying frenzy and the prompt month gained 25 cents in 65 minutes to reach a $5.74 high at 11:30 a.m. EDT. February closed at $5.673, up 24 cents for the session.
Shrugging off Thursday’s expiration-day sell-off, natural gas futures rebounded Friday, as traders took their cue from cold weather expected over the weekend and stronger cash market prices. The newly-crowned spot month February received the biggest buying boost, advancing 15.5 cents to finish the week at $2.774. Estimated volume of just 53,169 was evidence many traders elected to remain on the sidelines ahead of the weekend.