Natural gas propelled higher on expected polar outbreak.
The Mar-2021 NYMEX natural gas contract soared 28.6 cents higher to $2.850 per MMBtu after weekend weather forecasts turned bullish for elevated heating demand in the coming 6 to 14 day period. The Mar-2021 WTI crude oil contract bounced $1.35 higher to $53.55 per barrel after a major investment firm said they expected oil demand to rebound to prepandemic levels of 100 million bpd in August. Equity markets pushed higher ahead of a heavy week of corporate earnings and as the recent day-trading frenzy moved to the silver market.
Natural gas eased 0.5 cents lower to $2.845 despite expectations of stronger heating demand as a polar outbreak was forecast to bring extremely cold temperatures to much of the Midwest and Northeast in the coming week. Crude advanced $1.21 to $54.76 as OPEC output in January increased by only about twothirds of planned due to offsets in production outages in Libya and Nigeria. Stocks rallied on the day ahead of Q4 earnings from a pair of tech giants.
The cost of gas declined 5.6 cents to $2.789 ahead of Thursday’s storage report, which was expected to show a large withdrawal around 195 Bcf. Oil gained another 93 cents to close at $55.69 after the EIA reported a 1.0-Million-barrel dip in oil inventories. Equities continued to push higher following solid earnings results from the tech sector and better-than-expected economic data.
Natural gas settled 14.6 cents higher at $2.935 after the EIA reported a large 192 Bcf withdrawal from storage that narrowed the surplus to the 5-year average to 198 Bcf. Crude oil climbed 54 cents higher to $56.23 after OPEC and its producing allies agreed to maintain the reduced output policy during their recent meeting. Equity markets stretched toward record highs on another round of upbeat corporate earnings reports and lower-than-expected weekly jobless claims.
Natural gas gave up early session gains and eventually finished the day 7.2 cents lower at $2.863 as weather models forecast some moderation in the weekend forecast. Crude locked in a fifth consecutive day in the green as traders grew more confident OPEC and their producing allies were committed to maintaining output cuts. The Mar-2021 WTI contract settled 62 cents higher at $56.85. Equities landed in positive territory despite a weak monthly jobs report that showed 49,000 jobs were created during January.
Natural gas will continue to find support as cold temperatures are forecast for much of the country into late-February.
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