Natural gas continues to lose ground on bearish sentiment.
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The Mar-2024 NYMEX natural gas contract inched 0.3 cents higher to $2.082 per MMBtu even after the pace of production neared a record 107 Bcf per day over the weekend. The Mar-2024 WTI crude oil contract gained 50 cents to $72.78 per barrel on escalating Middle East tensions after the U.S. launched retaliatory strikes in Iraq and Syria against Iranian forces. Equity markets tumbled lower as recent economic data suggested interest could remain elevated longer than earlier anticipated.
The cost of gas edged 4.2 cents lower to $1.967 ahead of Thursday’s storage report, which was expected to show a draw around 80 Bcf that would expand the storage surplus. Oil pressed 55 cents higher to $73.86 even after the EIA reported a 5.5-millionbarrel increase in oil inventories. Stocks advanced as investors cheered a batch of upbeat fourth quarter corporate earnings results.
The cost of gas inched 2.3 cents higher to $2.100 ahead of Thursday’s storage report, which was expected to show a draw around 195 Bcf that would compare to the 5-year average 185 Bcf draw. Oil prices declined $1.97 to $75.85 after the EIA reported an unexpected 1.2-million-barrel increase in oil inventories. Stocks landed in negative territory after Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell cast water on the notion of a March rate cut.
Natural gas closed 5.0 cents lower at $1.917 after the EIA reported a 75 Bcf withdrawal from storage, which nearly doubled the surplus compared to the 5-year average to 248 Bcf. Crude oil jumped $2.36 higher to $76.22 on escalating tensions in the Middle East after Israel rejected a ceasefire proposal from Hamas and after the U.S. killed a militant commander in Iraq. Equity markets landed in positive territory after the Labor Department reported that less applications for unemployment benefits were filed last week.
Natural gas extended losses and settled 7.0 cents lower at $1.847 after updated weather forecasts shed some heating degree days from the prior day’s model runs. Crude oil pushed 62 cents higher to $76.84 as heightened tensions in the Middle East continued to flame concerns over the possibility of supply disruptions. Equities traded in a mixed fashion even as weaker inflation data raised prospects of an earlier rate cut.
Energy prices are struggling to rebound even as below-normal temperatures are forecast for much of the nation into late February.
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Jonathan Lee joined ENGIE Impact in 2009 and has produced the Energy Market Watch newsletter for 15 years. He manages the Energy & Sustainability Analytics Intelligence team, focusing on market intelligence and rate forecasting. Jonathan also has a background in Finance and Marketing.
Rick Margolin manages client projects towards the development of voluntary and compliance sustainability programs, evaluation of project opportunities, adoption, implementation and compliance. He also leads tracking of regulatory, legislative and policy environments for impacts on renewables and decarbonization markets.
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