MTECHTIPS:-Natural gas prices rally 2% with cold weather in focus
Natural gas futures rallied 2% on Monday, as market players continued to focus on winter weather forecasts to gauge the strength of heating demand for the fuel. Trading volumes are expected to remain light as many investors already closed books before the end of the year, reducing liquidity in the market and increasing volatility, which helped exaggerate market moves. On the New York Mercantile Exchange, natural gas futures for delivery in February traded at USD4.461 per million British thermal units during U.S. morning trade, up 2.1%. Nymex February gas futures rose by as much as 2.3% earlier to hit a daily high of USD4.471. The February contract settled 2.41% lower on Friday to end at USD4.368 per million British thermal units. Natural gas futures were likely to find support at USD4.332 per million British thermal units, the low from December 27 and resistance at USD4.518, the high from December 26. Updated weather forecasting models called for chilly temperatures across the East Coast of the U.S. during the next six-to-ten days. Colder-than-average winter temperatures increase the need for gas-fired electricity to heat homes, boosting demand for natural gas. The heating season from November through March is the peak demand period for U.S. gas consumption.
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