Natural gas futures - weekly outlook: Oct. 28 - Nov. 1

Shutterstock photo - " Natural gas futures rallied almost 2% on Friday, as market participants continued to focus on weather forecasts to gauge the strength of demand for the fuel.

On the New York Mercantile Exchange, natural gas futures for delivery in December jumped 1.84% on Monday to settle the week at USD3.812 per million British thermal units.

Earlier in the day, Nymex gas prices rose to a session high of USD3.835, the strongest level since October 21.

The December contract settled 0.27% higher on Thursday to end at USD3.743 per million British thermal units.

Nymex gas futures were likely to find support at USD3.593 per million British thermal units, the low from October 25 and resistance at USD3.868, the high from October 16.

On the week, December natural gas prices advanced 1.25%.

Near-term weather forecasts pointed to colder-than-normal temperatures across most parts of the eastern half of the U.S.

Bullish speculators are betting that the below-average temperatures will boost winter heating demand for the fuel.

However, extended weather forecasting models called for above-average weather across most of the nation throughout most of November.

Natural gas prices have closely tracked weather forecasts in recent weeks, as traders try to gauge the impact of shifting outlooks on early-winter heating demand.

The U.S. heating season runs from November through March, and is considered the peak demand period for gas consumption.

Meanwhile, U.S. supply levels also remained in focus. The U.S. Energy Information Administration said on Thursday that natural gas storage in the U.S. rose by 87 billion cubic feet.

Inventories increased by 64 billion cubic feet in the same week a year earlier, while the five-year average change for the week is a build of 67 billion cubic feet.

Total U.S. natural gas storage stood at 3.741 trillion cubic feet as last week, 2.4% below last year's unusually high level but 2.1% above the five-year average for this time of year.

Early injection estimates for this week's storage data range from 20 billion cubic feet to 43 billion cubic feet, compared to a 66 billion cubic feet increase during the same week a year earlier.

The five-year average for the week is a build of 57 billion cubic feet.

Elsewhere in the energy complex, light sweet crude oil futures for December delivery settled at USD97.85 a barrel by close of trade on Friday, dropping 3.22% on the week.

Meanwhile, heating oil for December delivery tumbled 4.08% on the week to settle at USD2.908 per gallon by close of trade Friday. offers an extensive set of professional tools for the financial markets.

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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