With crude stuck in a range for a month or so, my attention has increasingly been on natural gas. That is unusual for me. Anything that moves in big chunks in response to something as unpredictable and unreliable as the weather forecast has always seemed to me to be more of a casino bet than a trade. Still, movement equals money for a trader and without any in WTI futures, natty’s crazy swings have started to look a bit more attractive.
Despite the weather thing, I have found that natural gas does have a couple of redeeming features as a trading instrument. It tends to sustain momentum and often respects simple technical levels such as basic support and resistance or channels.
That is of particular interest right now, because we have seen two days of trading lower, and the reversal of a couple of days ago represents a failure to break above the previous high. In other words, the technical picture looks pretty bearish.
The real appeal of a short here though is that the fundamental factors point the same way. Gas has an oversupply problem. The advances in fracking and the development of shale fields have had a massive effect on oil, of course, but one could argue that those and other technological advances that have increased the ability to capture gas have had even more of an impact on natty.
After all, U.S. production has nearly doubled since 2005…
Figure 1: U.S. Natural Gas Production. Source: eia.gov
To be fair, demand…