As reported in Wall Street Journal

By
Timothy Puko

July 28, 2014 3:09 p.m. ET

NEW YORK—Natural-gas prices set a new eight-month low for the fourth time in six sessions, breaking an early-day run Monday as traders stayed focused on low prospects for demand.

Prices for the front-month August contract settled down 3.4 cents, or 0.9%, to $3.747 a million British thermal units on the New York Mercantile Exchange. August options expired Monday and the contract expires Tuesday. The more actively traded September contract settled down 2.2 cents, or 0.6%, to $3.765/mmBtu.

The day largely focused on technical trading as buyers and sellers kept moving against the momentum of the market, analysts said. After prices quickly hit an intraday high of $3.85/mmBtu, traders began to sell, likely focused on how cool weather is likely to limit demand in the weeks to come, said Aaron Calder, senior market analyst at energy-consulting firm Gelber & Associates in Houston.

The unseasonably cool summer has allowed consumers to use less air conditioning and the gas-fired electricity that fuels it. Producers put a record string of surpluses into storage, and gas prices have fallen about 20% since mid-June.

“If the weather stays mild and we don’t have any power demand, as it has been, then I don’t think we’ve hit a bottom,” Mr. Calder said.

Forecasts still show mild weather, including temperatures as much as eight degrees Fahrenheit below normal, lingering over the center of the country into the second week of August. Weather forecasts made only small changes over the weekend, with division over whether temperatures would be slightly warmer or cooler than previously expected.

Advertisements