Following closely on Thursday’s minor futures uptick, most cashpoints on Friday barely managed double digit gains in a relativelyquiet day of trading. The Northeast and Midwest took the lead onthe plus side, but the West once again stole the show with declinesof more than $8 at the SoCal Border and more than $2 at PG&ECitygate as power demand declined for the holiday weekend.
Articles from Uptick
It had seemed that Wednesday afternoon’s large screen uptickfollowing the storage report might be the tonic needed by alistless cash market to regain its previous strength Thursday.Instead, a humongous Nymex downturn and fresh forecasts thatweather next week might not be as cold as anticipated combined tosend most cash prices lower by a dime or so. Gains were rare andsmall.
After a brief uptick during the Wednesday night Access tradingsession, natural gas futures continued lower yesterday at the NewYork Mercantile Exchange and settled below key support levels. Julyfinished at $2.285, after carving out a $2.27 low early Thursdaymorning. Estimated volume of 95,938 was almost double that ofMonday and Tuesday.
The cash swing market kind of “muddled around” Tuesday,unimpressed by a small screen uptick or anything else for thatmatter, according to a Midcontinent trader. Nearly all points wereflat to barely a penny or two lower. The big drop of a nickel or soat Sumas likely was due to a three-day outage of Jackson Prairiestorage operations starting today, causing Northwest to get strictabout banking gas on the system, one source said.
Unconvinced that the latest uptick in domestic oil pricessignals a turnaround, domestic producers last week descended on theWhite House and Capitol Hill to make a direct pitch for marginalwell tax credits, exploration and production (E&P) incentivesand other economic reforms to boost the ailing oil and gasindustry.
Taking a cue from a last-day uptick in the Henry Hub futurescontract for February, late-January cash prices ranged from flat toup about a nickel Wednesday. February bidweek numbers were alsomoving a bit higher in several instances, sources said.