Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Natural Gas Pricing News Today

By Christine Buurma


NEW YORK -(Dow Jones)- Natural gas futures finished slightly higher Monday, supported by positive economic data and rising crude oil prices.

Natural gas for August delivery on the New York Mercantile Exchange settled 2 cents, or 0.55%, higher at $3.689 a million British thermal units after reaching a high of $3.774/MMBu in combined electronic and floor trade earlier in the day.

Some better-than-expected company earnings, a rise in a measure of economic activity and news that commercial lender CIT Group Inc. (CIT) struck a deal to avoid bankruptcy helped boost energy commodities Monday. Traders have been looking for signs of economic recovery that could point to a rebound in oil and gas demand.

Nymex light, sweet crude oil for August delivery settled 42 cents, or 0.66%, higher at $63.98. Natural gas can be used as a substitute for petroleum products in some power plants and heating systems.

"This market has been waiting for more earnings to see where things stand" in terms of the economic outlook, said Pax Saunders, an analyst with Houston-based energy advisory firm Gelber & Associates.

Toy maker Hasbro Inc. (HAS) reported Monday its second-quarter profit rose 5%, beating expectations. Oilfield services company Halliburton Co.'s (HAL) earnings fell, but the results surpassed analysts' forecasts.

The Conference Board, a non-profit group for business executives, said Monday its index of leading economic indicators rose 0.7% in June.

But mixed weather forecasts and abundant supplies continued to place some downward pressure on gas prices. Total gas in storage as of July 10 was 2.886 trillion cubic feet, 18.7% above the five-year average and 25.6% above last year's level.

Moderate temperatures in the major gas-consuming regions over the next two weeks were expected to limit cooling demand for natural gas. Unusually cool weather will continue in parts of the Great Lakes and Northeast into early August, said Jim Rouiller, a meteorologist with private forecaster Planalytics Inc., in a note to clients Tuesday.

"High temperatures will range from the low 70s to the low 80s across the Northeast and Great Lakes while upper 70s to mid 80s prevail across the Midwest and Mid-Atlantic," Rouiller wrote.

Nymex Aug $3.689 +2.0c
Nymex Sep $3.838 +2.2c
Nymex Oct $4.045 +1.7c

Henry Hub $3.36-$3.52 $3.33-$3.50
Transco 65 $3.46-$3.56 $3.65-$3.75
Tex East M3 $3.72-$3.79 $3.60-$3.77
Transco Z6 $3.76-$3.81 $3.65-$3.75
SoCal $3.45-$3.57 $3.36-$3.46
El Paso Perm $3.36-$3.46 $3.19-$3.33
El Paso SJ $3.37-$3.42 $3.17-$3.25
Waha $3.39-$3.46 $3.23-$3.34
Katy $3.33-$3.48 $3.31-$3.42

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