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27 May 2011 04:33:31
The first and second month contracts on Thursday took a downward hit in response to a three-digit injection into US storage last week. The June '11 contract expired from the prompt position on the NYMEX board, which attracted a post-inventory report rebound.
June '11 bottomed out at $4.20/MMBtu as trading activity responded to an injection into stocks last week of nearly 10 billion cubic feet (bcf) above analysts' expectations.
The US Energy Information Administration (EIA) said working underground storage levels rose by 105bcf - or 2.96 million cubic metres - in the week ended 20 May. Most analysts had been predicting an inventory rise in the low-90s bcf because of increased natural gas demand and steady production figures. However, cooling degree days during the EIA's report week were below historical norms and kept electricity demand down. Short-covering before June '11 rolled off the NYMEX board provided some late-session buying interest that brought the expiry settlement to $4.33/MMBtu, a loss of 5 cents.
July '11 softened by 6 cents and will start as the prompt contract from $4.36/MMBtu.
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