Natural gas gains ground on continued support from weather forecasts.
Natural gas bounced 8.9 cents higher to $2.585 per MMBtu as meteorologists called for above-normal temperatures to spread across much of the nation during the following two weeks, increasing cooling demand expectations. Crude oil jumped $1.33 to $57.85 per barrel ahead of an OPEC meeting later in the week where members would discuss potential production cuts. Equity markets climbed higher on hopes the Fed would cut interest rates following the prior Friday’s weaker-than-expected jobs report.
The Oct-2019 NYMEX natural gas contract dipped 0.5 cents lower to $2.580 as traders locked in profits following the prior session’s gains. Oil prices edged 45 cents lower to $57.40 ahead of weekly inventory reports from industry and government sources. Equities extended their winning streak after reports showed job openings fell for the second straight month in July.
Natural gas closed 2.8 cents lower at $2.552 as the EIA was expected to report another storage build above the 5-year average during Thursday’s release. Crude oil fell $1.65 to $55.75 even after the EIA revealed a larger-than-expected 6.9-Million-barrel decline in domestic stocks as OPEC trimmed its 2019 oil demand outlook for the second straight month. Tech stocks led a rally in the broader markets, pushing the winning streak to 6 consecutive sessions.
Natural gas rebounded 2.2 cents to $2.574 after the EIA reported a slightly smaller-than-expected 78 Bcf build to storage, which still narrowed the deficit to the 5-year average to 77 Bcf. Oil slid 66 cents lower to $55.09 after OPEC and its allies decided to put off any further production cuts despite signs of a growing global supply glut. Stocks continued to press higher on reports the U.S. and China were slowly moving toward resolving the two-year trade dispute.
Natural gas settled 4.0 cents higher at $2.614 as weather forecasts continued to signal elevated late season cooling demand in the major consuming Midwest and Northeast. Crude closed 24 cents lower at $54.85 following the resignation of President Trump’s national security advisor earlier in the week and the potential for that to lead to easing sanctions on Iran. Equities traded in a mixed fashion even after the Commerce Department revealed another solid month in retail sales. during the month of August.
Natural gas traders will continue to closely monitor weather forecasts for late-season warmth that may boost natural gas demand.