Natural gas prices moved higher by nearly 2% on Thursday following the Department of Energy’s release of current stockpiles. The smaller than expected build lifted prices but they were unable to push through resistance near a downward sloping trend line that comes in near 3. Warmer than normal weather is forecast to cover most of the United States over the next 8-14 days which should help buoy prices. Support on natural gas is seen near the 10-day moving average at 2.96. Momentum has turned positive as the MACD (moving average convergence divergence) index generated a crossover buy signal. This occurs as the MACD line (the 12-day moving average minus the 26-day moving average) crosses above the MACD signal line (the 9-day moving average of the MACD line).
Inventories Rose Less than Expected
The Department of Energy reported on Thursday that working gas in storage was 2,074 Bcf as of Friday, June 22, 2018. This represents a net increase of 66 Bcf from the previous week. Expectations were for a rise of 71 Bcf. Stocks were 735 Bcf less than last year at this time and 501 Bcf below the five-year average of 2,575 Bcf. At 2,074 Bcf, total working gas is within the five-year historical range.
North East Gas Prices are Rising
Northeast prices rise with warming temperatures. At the Algonquin Citygate, which serves Boston-area consumers, prices went up 22¢ from $2.50/MMBtu last Wednesday to $2.72/MMBtu yesterday. Prices generally rose with temperatures in the first half of the week, reaching a high of $2.97/MMBtu on June 15, 2018, and decreased with temperatures in the last half of the week. At the Transcontinental Pipeline Zone 6 trading point for New York City, prices increased 1¢ from $2.79/MMBtu last Wednesday to $2.80/MMBtu yesterday. Prices throughout the week at Transco Zone 6 NY moved much like at the Algonquin Citygate, where temperatures were similar.