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Natural gas futures - weekly outlook: July 21 - 25

CommoditiesJul 20, 2014 12:42PM ET
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Natural gas futures end the week with a loss of 4.7% on supply outlook - U.S. natural gas futures fell to a seven-month low on Friday, as concerns over tight supplies continued to fade away.

On the New York Mercantile Exchange, natural gas for delivery in August fell to a session low of $3.934 per million British thermal units, the weakest level since December 2, before settling at $3.951 by close of trade, down 0.08%, or 0.3 cents.

Natural gas futures plunged 4.01%, or 16.5 cents, on Thursday to end at $3.954.

On the week, Nymex natural gas prices lost 4.7%, or 19.5 cents, the fifth consecutive weekly decline.

Futures were likely to find support at $3.897 per million British thermal units, the low from December 2 and resistance at $4.110, the high from July 17.

Natural gas prices sold off on Thursday after the U.S. Energy Information Administration said in its weekly report that natural gas storage in the U.S. rose by 107 billion cubic feet last week, above expectations for an increase of 98 billion cubic feet.

The five-year average change for the week is an increase of 65 billion cubic feet.

Total U.S. natural gas storage stood at 2.129 trillion cubic feet as of last week, narrowing the deficit to the five-year average to 25.5%, down from a record 54.7% at the end of March.

Meanwhile, updated weather-forecasting models called for cooler temperatures across most parts of the heavily-populated Midwest and Northeast regions over the next five days.

Demand for natural gas tends to fluctuate in the summer based on hot weather and air conditioning use.

Data from the Commodities Futures Trading Commission released Friday showed that hedge funds and money managers modestly increased their bullish bets in natural gas futures in the week ending July 15.

Net longs totaled 37,617 contracts, up 1.9% from net longs of 36,906 in the previous week.

Elsewhere on the Nymex, U.S. crude oil for September delivery settled at $101.95 a barrel by close of trade on Friday, up 1.09%, or $1.12 a barrel, on the week.

Meanwhile, heating oil for August delivery slumped 0.73% on the week to settle at $2.848 per gallon by close of trade Friday.

Natural gas futures - weekly outlook: July 21 - 25

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