Cooling the streak of price firmness exhibited on Monday and Tuesday, natural gas cash averages across the United States dropped for the second straight day on Friday as summer-like temperatures dominated much of the country and Thursday’s news of an early start to the storage injection season began to fully sink in.
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Prices continued to fall at most points Friday as temperature forecasts remained relatively moderate for most areas in late August, a lengthy streak of futures weakness continued and there was still no threat to offshore production from Atlantic tropical activity.
Prices continued to fall at nearly all points Thursday as subpar temperatures for late August persisted in most areas and a losing streak by the futures market continued to negatively influence cash numbers.
After recording consecutive new lows on Wednesday and Thursday, the December natural gas futures contract on Friday halted the streak and pushed higher. The prompt-month contract — which terminates on Tuesday — recorded a high of $4.442 before closing Friday’s regular session at $4.424, up 8.2 cents from Thursday’s finish and 3.2 cents north of the previous week’s close.
September natural gas futures stretched their losing streak to five for the week on Friday but relative to the economy-dependent crude oil market fared reasonably well.
Traders kept the streak of gains alive on Wednesday as the August natural gas futures contract added 8.8 cents to close at $3.793 on expectations that the industry on Thursday morning will see its smallest storage injection since mid-April.
Keeping the week’s streak of lower closes intact, August natural gas futures — still faced with abysmal fundamentals — pushed lower on Wednesday to close at $3.795, down 4 cents on the day and 31 cents on the week.