Posts Tagged ‘energy markets’

Bearish Demand Keeps Natural Gas Near Multi-Year Lows

Natural gas futures has made an about-face in the past two days back down near the $2.65 support level as the bearish demand outlook still appears bleak. Natural gas futures are down .065 cents (per btu – “British thermal unit”) today currently trading at $2.663 at the New York Mercantile Exchange.

Weather has been playing the biggest part of price discovery it seems, but shifting weather forecasts have kept natural gas futures from breaking out of their tight range most of this year. Natural gas futures six-month high’s are near $3.15 and six-month low’s resting at $2.60 per btu – a .45 cent range.

The trend for natural gas futures is down but with a very long and extended “bottom” coming into view. It will take prolonged upside action for an all out trend change to the upside, so for now let’s just enjoy this ultra-low consumer price.

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Storage Report May Provide Direction for Natural Gas Futures

Natural gas futures appear to be sitting still near the high end of their trading range of nearly two months as energy traders patiently await new data on gas inventories to help determine the demand for the fuel. Natural gas futures are up more than .07 cents today currently trading just over $2.91 per BTU at the New York Mercantile Exchange.

The US Energy Information Administration’s storage report is due for release tomorrow with an expected increase of 95B cubic feet for the week ending July 3rd (an increase of 91B happened the week before). The total domestic storage at this time is reportedly 32.8% higher than this same week last year and 1.7% above the five-year average for this period in the year.

Natural gas is said to be the US’s top fuel used for everyday home use. With natural gas prices this low, its a real plus for the domestic consumer.

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Natural Gas Futures Hover at Two-Week Lows

Natural gas futures are trading at this month’s mid-range and at two-week lows as trader’s eyes seem to be focused on short-term domestic weather in order to estimate demand for the fuel. Natural gas futures are down slightly today currently trading at $2.75 per BTU at New York’s Mercantile Exchange.

It might not only be weather concerning the natural gas trade, but speculation that power and utility plants may switch from clean coal to clean natural gas because of such low prices. Most consumers may not be aware that natural gas is used in about 25% of domestic electricity generation.

The trend for natural gas futures remains down with possible bottoming taking place. A sustained natural gas futures breakout about last month’s high near $3.20 per BTU could have this market in an uptrend – but low prices are great for the end-users.

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Natural Gas Futures at a Crossroad in Early Uptrend

Natural gas futures is attempting a rebound from its two-week lows with traders now looking for fresh data on weekly gas inventories to have a better outlook on its demand. July natural gas futures are currently “unchanged” from yesterday’s close (near $2.85 per BTU) after a .05 cent rally earlier in the trading session at New York’s Mercantile Exchange.

Natural gas futures put in a monthly low near $2.79 and followed with a May high near $3.15 per BTU at the beginning of last week. The current uptrend in this market may be a little premature based on the weak demand and favorable weather in the near future.

Natural gas futures began an early uptrend in the second week of May, but taking out yesterday’s low of $2.818 can change the directional outlook (in my work). I think US consumers are still very much benefiting with low natural gas prices.

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Natural Gas Futures Settling Before Inventory Report

Natural gas futures appear to be experiencing short-covering just before tomorrow’s weekly storage data release. Natural gas futures are up 32 points today, but .13c above last week’s contract low near $2.52 per British thermal unit at New York’s Mercantile Exchange.

Tomorrow’s storage report by the US Energy Information Administration is anticipated to show an additional 80B cubic feet of inventory for the week ending April 17th – which would be the most on record for the week. Natural gas supplies also rose by 45B cubic feet the week earlier in-line with the five-year average of an increase of 46B cubic feet for this time of year.

Natural gas futures trend is down with no bottom yet in sight. These low natural gas prices are a real plus for the consumer.

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Natural Gas Futures Finding Support with Less Supply in Storage

Natural gas futures found support during trading Thursday when data showed domestic natural gas supplies falling more than expected last week. Natural gas futures for May delivery ended the day at $2.69 per BTU, up 94 points at the New York Mercantile Exchange.

In the week ending March 27th, the US Energy Information Administration reported natural gas in domestic storage declined by 18B cubic feet – when only a decline of 10B was “expected.” In the week prior it was reported a 12B cubic foot rise, and a year earlier at this time supplies fell by 71B cubic feet.

Natural gas futures trend is down with no clear bottom yet in sight. This report is not necessarily for natural gas futures traders, but users of the product in our everyday lives – great news here for the consumer!

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Record Domestic Inventories Send Crude Oil Futures to $44 Per Barrel

Crude oil futures briefly reached the $44 per barrel benchmark in very early trading based on the outlook of oversupply concerns as energy industry data revealed crude oil inventories had reached a new record high. Crude oil futures finished the day $2.43 per barrel higher at the New York Mercantile Exchange.

The American Petroleum Institute (“API”) reported US crude oil inventories rising by 10.5M barrels to 450M barrels in the week ending March 13th. A high-profile media poll had initially indicated analysts expecting only a 3.8M build-up of inventory, so you can realize the significant difference.

Crude oil’s trend is clearly down with no bottom yet in sight – especially hitting new contract lows just today. Crude oil futures is not a market I trade, but I report about it because it correlates with the price of gasoline – a product we are so dependent upon.

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Natural Gas Futures Hovering Above Contract Low

Natural gas futures have been testing its three week low as the time window for demand ticks away. Investors and traders alike are patiently monitoring near-term weather forecasts to gauge the strength of demand for natural gas.

Natural gas futures reached a low earlier today of $2.649 per million British thermal units at New York’s Mercantile Exchange – a price not seen since making contract lows nearly three weeks ago. Speculators on the bearish side have the outlook that warmer weather in most of the country will keep a lid on later-winter demand. Peak season for domestic natural gas use is between November through March.

Natural gas futures trend is down, but at a crossroads. A natural gas futures breakout above $3.05 could bring prices back to the $3.40 range, while a break below $2.59 with follow-through could send it to uncharted territory (in my study).

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Forecasts for Bitter Cold Halt Natural Gas Futures Near Lows

Natural gas futures seem to be defining a support-base in this most recent down-trend due to forecasts bitter cold weather returning after the mild weather many have been enjoying this week. Natural gas futures are fluctuating around the $2.90 per btu’s today in New York’s Mercantile Exchange.

Later this month and into February, two-thirds of the eastern portion of the USA is predicted to have “below normal” temperatures while the low in Chicago is expected to be 5 degrees lower than normal sometime during that period. The low’s in New York are predicted to be as much as 11 degrees lower than normal. This has the potential to halt falling natural gas prices which crashed last month.

The trend for natural gas futures is down with clear basing action in progress. Not only does natural gas futures need to hold last week’s low, but a breakout above last week’s high of $3.30 will be in order.

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Speculators Now Coming Forward with Price Floor Predictions for Crude Oil Futures

Stories are emerging regarding crude oil futures bottom-line price floor in this incredible decent from over $100 per barrel. One hedge-fund manager’s view is that crude oil prices have already “almost” bottomed out and that “some recovery” is likely in the second-half of this year when demand picks up.

Just this past summer, crude oil futures were trading over $100 per barrel – a price well above “break-even” operational costs for energy producers. If $40 (or less) a barrel were to be the renewed “normal” as it was pre-Persian Gulf War in 1991, there is concern US and Canadian oil production cannot be sustained due to the overall cost of production.

The trend for crude oil futures is down with no bottom yet in sight. We could very well see continued crude oil future prices pressured into the seasonal low time period this time next month.

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