For the third morning in a row natural gas futures gapped higherat the open before continuing upward as traders covered shortpositions in anticipation of Tropical Storm Bret becoming the firsthurricane in the 1999 Atlantic season. But after notching a $3.015high shortly after noon, the September contract was hit with a waveof profit-taking that delivered the spot month back down to settleat $2.938. Estimated volume was healthy, with 99,927 contractschanging hands.
Articles from Upward
Slight Break in Heat Allows Prices to Level Off
The furious upward rush of swing cash prices finally ran out ofsteam Tuesday, leaving most of the market in a consolidation andstabilization mode. Except for a nickel rise in Transco’s Zone6-NYC pool and milder increases on several Midcontinent pipes, flatnumbers were the order of the day at nearly all eastern points.Although the Midwest and Northeast market areas had cooled off abit since Monday, forecasts for a heat wave to re-intensify laterthis week kept prices from retreating, a marketer said.
Electric Load Helps Generate Higher Gas Prices
Cash prices continued on an upward track Thursday, although thegains were a bit smaller than those posted Wednesday. A fewincreases barely exceeded a nickel, such as at Waha and the HoustonShip Channel, where Texas air conditioning load is growing.Northeast citygates tended to go up about a nickel as a sourcereported storage demand rising there now that the injection seasonis under way. Most other points rose between 2 and 4 cents. It’sthe same old story about why the market has been fairly strong thisweek, a trader said-power generation load, a firm screen andwestern cold.
Oil, Gas Futures, Tighter Supplies Boost Market
“Where has all the gas gone now?” asked a Houston-based marketerTuesday as April numbers turned upward going into the home stretch ofbidweek. He was starting to encounter some tightness of supplies inthe Gulf Coast and Appalachian production areas that caused prices tobe bid higher. Echoing a producer’s Friday observation (see Daily GPI, March 29), the market suspectedthat reduced drilling budgets last year may be reflected now in afirmer gas market.
Screen Rally, Short-Covering Nudge Cash Upward
In what some sources referred to as “winter’s last hurrah,” cashprices began the week on an up-note as they garnered momentum froma futures rally and continued covering of first-of-month shortpositions. Cash prices at most trading areas around the countrygained 1-3 cents from weekend levels.
Renewed Price Rises Spread Across All Markets
The cash market shrugged off Tuesday’s modest weakening toresume an upward climb Wednesday. Yesterday’s gains weren’t aslarge as those on Monday (mostly 5-10 cents compared with 10-20cents, respectively). Also unlike Monday’s trading, there was nogeographical divergence with Western increases being significantlyless than the East’s; the Wednesday upticks were mixed relativelyequally in both areas.
Winter Weather Worsens, But Prices a Bit Weaker
As many traders had expected, prices were unable to sustain thestrong upward momentum with which they began the week. Even asblizzard conditions got worse Tuesday in several major marketareas, quotes for today’s gas flow were flat to as much as a nickellower. Apparently utilities and other end-users started leaningmuch more heavily on their storage accounts after Monday’s cashrun-up left many points trading well above first-of-month indexes,especially in Eastern markets, one source said.
Rally in November Aftermarket Slows to a Crawl
The upward track of cash prices continued Wednesday, but at asnail’s pace compared to Tuesday’s skyrocketing pyrotechnics. Mostof the new increases were quite meager, ranging from a penny or soto about a nickel. The first significant winter weather that manyareas have seen so far this season was credited with keeping theNovember price rally going, albeit modestly.
Mitch Pitches ‘Hype’ Strength at Market
Hurricane hype was helping drive the screen upward Monday, andboth the hype and screen strength contributed to a wide mix of cashprices that ranged from slightly softer to as much as 20cents-plus, sources said.
Cash Prices Continue to Rally, Soaring More than 20 Cents
Cash Prices continued their upward rally Tuesday, skyrocketingin excess of 20 cents at most delivery points. Most sources agreeda vigorous buying spree fueled by market players coming into theweek short in anticipation of lower prices was largely to blame forthe continued spikes in most areas.