Futures Slump as Storage Injections Surpass Expectations

Unable to live up to revised storage expectations, the natural gas futures market plummeted lower Wednesday afternoon as traders continued to liquidate new longs. For the third time in three days the September contract tested, but failed to break through resistance in the $3.35-40 area, paving the way for intra- and inter-day profit-taking. The September contract bore the brunt of the selling pressure, spiraling 21.5 cents lower to close at $3.081.

August 2, 2001

As Expected, Futures Slump into Weekend

Ending its streak of up-days at four, natural gas futures sunk lower Friday, as lagging cash market prices prompted traders to take profits ahead of the weekend. After stalling at $5.48 for the second day in a row, the May contract spiraled lower to close at $5.388, a 3.4-cent loss for the day.

April 9, 2001

Weather or Not…..Futures Are in a Slump

As yet another storm in what is shaping up to be one of thesnowiest winters on record pummeled New England Friday, natural gasfutures spiraled higher only to reverse lower at mid-day as tradersstared ahead at bearish intermediate-term temperature and storageoutlooks. The May contract tumbled lower under the considerableselling pressure to close at $5.025, leaving the prompt month witha 24.9-cent loss to conclude the week. Considering the size of theprice move, volume was relatively weak as less than 60,000contracts changed hands.

April 2, 2001

Price Slump Slows; West Coast Sees Moderate Upticks

Prices continued to fall in most markets Tuesday, but at aconsiderably slower pace than the previous day’s plunges. Mostdecreases were around 30 cents or less, while California points andStanfield achieved gains from a little less than a dime to about 35cents as more seasonable weather returned to the West Coast.

February 7, 2001

Futures Slump into Expiry; Analyst Sees Further Weakness

After gapping dramatically lower on the open, natural gasfutures took on the trajectory of a safe pushed out of a ten-storywindow yesterday as the market dropped to its lowest level sinceNov. 29. The expiring February contract was the hardest hit by theselling, crashing 96.3 cents lower to close at $6.293. The outmonths did not fair much better, as the 12-month strip tumbled$0.49 lower to close at $5.563.

January 30, 2001

Heat Helps Market Avoid Usual Weekend Slump

Cash prices ignored a falling screen and the usual lower gasdemand of a weekend, instead using growing heat in the Northeastand Midwest to fashion an overall flat market Friday. The East hadmore of the mild firmness while small declines tended to clustermore in the West. That was best illustrated by the day’s extremes:increases of more than a nickel for citygates in the hot and humidNortheast, as opposed to a drop of a nickel at the PG&Ecitygate, where the utility had a high-inventory OFO in effect (seeTransportation Notes).

June 28, 1999

Weekend Load’s Price-Depressing Effect Returns

Unlike a week earlier, the slump in gas demand that almostalways accompanies a weekend had its usual negative effect on cashprices Friday. Declines ranged from only 3-4 cents at Midwest andNortheast citygates to as much as a dime or so at Southwest andRockies points, where most of the maintenance outages at processingplants and compressor stations had ended by Friday. Most otherpoints registered drops of about a nickel.

May 24, 1999

Weekend Prices See Only Mildest of Softening

The typical slump in gas demand that accompanies a weekend wasable to coax a smidgen of softness out of the cash marketFriday-but just barely. Flatness was the word at quite a fewpoints, and decreases at others only rarely exceeded 2-3 cents.Sources continued to remark on how relatively stable the marketfeels even when prices come off a little.

April 26, 1999

Market Softening Continues into Weekend

Prices continued to slump Friday by approximately the samedegree as they had Thursday. Declines for weekend flow ranged fromas little as a couple of cents to almost a dime, with most in theneighborhood of a nickel. Another screen drop was the maininfluence on cash, sources said, and even the forecasts of a newwinter storm developing over the weekend weren’t enough to avertmore softening.

March 15, 1999

Storm ‘Hype’ Supports East, Alberta Prices Crater

Given mild weather, bearish storage levels and the normal slumpin weekend demand, many traders were surprised Friday to see nearlyall Eastern points stay flat or go up as much as 3-4 cents. ThoughGulf Coast numbers were “falling hard” near deadline after startingseveral cents higher, a producer surmised they were being held upat first by “hurricane hype.” Other sources also mentioned that asthe reason for the relative Eastern strength, saying they couldthink of no other explanation.

August 24, 1998