Harnessing Monday’s bearish momentum that sent the March natural gas futures contract plummeting 69 cents to close at $5.445, traders were at it again on Tuesday, dropping the soon-to-expire contract below $5 before a late-session rebound. Physical natural gas prices got in on the act on Tuesday for Wednesday delivery, with most averages across the country retreating by a dollar or more.
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March natural gas is set to open 13 cents higher Monday morning at $6.26 as traders ratchet up once again expectations of bone-chilling cold expected to hit the eastern three-quarters of the nation. Overnight oil markets were mixed.
Physical natural gas values for Tuesday delivery saw mixed results Monday as declines dominated the Gulf Coast, Midcontinent, Rockies and the West, while the Midwest, East and Northeast saw their fair share of gains and losses. The real action on the day was occurring in the futures arena, where whiplash-inducing volatility continued its recent run. The March contract plunged 69 cents to $5.445 and the April contract shed 39.2 cents to $4.620. April crude oil added 62 cents to $102.82/bbl.
Physical natural gas for weekend and Monday delivery continued to forge higher in Friday’s trading. Points with connectivity to the Dawn Hub in western Ontario showed double-digit dollar gains and gains of 50 cents to $1 or more were common elsewhere. A couple of Marcellus points in the Northeast showed declines.
Physical natural gas prices for Friday delivery posted another set of strong gains in Thursday’s trading with market points having access to Canadian markets showing multi-dollar gains. A handful of points in South Texas saw minimal losses, but nearly every other location showed gains of a quarter to 50 cents or more.
At the end of what has proven so far to be an unusually harsh winter, FERC will hold a technical conference to evaluate the U.S. electric grid’s performance and review interaction between the natural gas and electricity markets, Acting Chairman Cheryl LaFleur said Thursday.
Spot natural gas for Thursday delivery bounded higher in Wednesday’s trading as physical market traders elected to follow the path of the highly exuberant futures market. Less than a handful of cash points touched the loss column, and dollar-plus gains were seen at pipes feeding into the Chicago area. New England locations were mostly higher, and most prices in the Mid-Atlantic were up by double digits.
Spot gas for Wednesday delivery fell in Tuesday’s trading as multi-dollar losses at eastern and Northeast points trumped market strength in the Midwest and Gulf. The Midcontinent was mixed and California prices weakened.
Weekend and Monday gas gained ground in Friday’s trading with New England leading the march higher by posting multi-dollar gains.