With the end of the month coming up and the last full month of winter right around the corner, let’s take a look at the natural gas market this week.
March Natural Gas futures rallied early in the week on forecasts of colder temperatures the last week of January and into early February. Unfortunately for the bullish traders, this idea came and went, leaving them no choice but to lighten up on their long positions while awaiting perhaps the next piece of news that may trigger the final rally for the season.
The bad news is that despite the rally earlier in the week on predictions of cold weather and a bigger weekly drawdown then estimated, natural gas futures are poised to settle lower for the week. The good news is the chart pattern suggests there may still be life in the contract because prices are still holding above a major support zone.
According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), natural gas stockpiles shrank by 243 billion cubic feet in the week-ending June 13. Traders were looking for a draw of 229 Bcf. The five-year average draw for this week of the year is only 170 Bcf.
(Click to enlarge)
On the Weekly March Natural Gas chart, you can see that four retracement zones have combined to hold the market in a range, creating choppy, two-sided trading conditions.
Starting from the outside and working to the inside, the major support zone is the retracement zone bounded by $3.148 to…