Supported by bargain buying and technical factors, natural gas futures crept into positive territory Friday and held there for the first time in an otherwise bruising week. The July Nymex gas futures contract gained 1.4 cents day/day and settled at $2.172/MMBtu. August rose 2.6 cents to $2.299.

At A Glance:

  • Near-term demand remains weak
  • Probable weather shift looms
  • Robust storage injections ahead

The advance Friday ended a five-session losing streak for the prompt month.

NGI’s Spot Gas National Avg. shed 6.5 cents to $1.635.

Marex North America LLC’s Steve Blair, senior account executive, called Friday’s gain “a little bounce” that was “most likely technical in nature prior to the weekend, with some traders covering short positions.” He told NGI the $2.00...