Pressured by the release of another in a string of bearish weather forecasts and in sympathy with losses seen in the nearby crude oil pit, natural gas futures plumbed new three-week lows Monday, as traders continued to liquidate longs acquired during the month of October. The December contract never recovered from its 7-cent gap-lower open and finished with a 19.2-cent loss at $2.733.
Articles from Sympathy
In sympathy with its petroleum complex brethren, and amid concerns that it is not too late in the season to suffer hurricane-related production loss, natural gas futures shuffled higher Monday, after a disappointing opening trade threatened to take the prompt month to new lows. November finished the session at $2.27, 4.3 cents higher for the day and 13 cents above its Oct. 1 lows.
In sympathy with the largest single-day drop in crude oil prices since the Gulf War, and amid continued fears that a global recession is inevitable, natural gas futures funneled to new 30-month lows Monday, as non-commercial traders extended their short holdings in a market notably devoid of buyers. The October contract was the hardest hit, tumbling 9% or 19.3 cents to close at $1.91. The October contract is set to expire at 2:45 p.m. (EDT) Wednesday, an hour later than other daily settlements this week, in an effort to accommodate the 2:00 p.m. (EDT) release of fresh storage data.
On the heels of fresh storage news and in sympathy with gains achieved in the nearby crude oil pit, natural gas futures rebounded from their morning lows Thursday as scale-down buying interest lifted the market to its first positive close since the New York Mercantile Exchange reopened for business last Friday. Buying was almost uniform across all contracts, with November edging out the rest of the strip with a 3.7-cent advance to close at $2.464. October followed not far behind, gaining 3.5 cents to finish at $2.137.
California’s natural gas industry probably shouldn’t expect anyflowers in sympathy anytime soon. The California Cut FlowerCommission said last week that some of the state’s growers havebegun laying off workers and even sacrificing their Valentine’s Daycrops because they can’t afford to heat their greenhouses.
Buoyed by cold weather in the Northeast U.S. and in sympathywith higher heating oil prices, natural gas futures checked higherin light holiday trading Monday as traders covered shorts initiatedin last week’s sell-off. At the closing bell the November contractwas 14.2 cents higher at $5.15.