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November natural gas futures lose ground after recent rally

Aftersurging 8.2 cents on Oct. 10, front-month November natural gas futures slidmore than 3 cents on Tuesday, Oct. 11, on profit taking amid generallylackluster fundamentals. The contract moved from $3.209/MMBtu to $3.300/MMBtu, itshighest level since mid-January 2015, before settling the day at $3.237/MMBtu,down 3.8 cents.

"Thenatural gas market is seeing some light profit taking off the recent rally,with trade possibly including a bit of book squaring ahead of Thursday's DOEstorage report. Today's temperature forecast looks moderately more supportivethan a day ago, but with the change not necessarily enough to discourageselling," Tim Evans, energy analyst from Citi Futures Perspective, wrotein an early Oct. 11 note to clients.

Mildconditions are expected across much of the U.S. through the end of October. Inits latest forecast for the six- to 10-day and eight- to 14-day periods, theNational Weather Service continues to call for above-average temperaturesacross the bulk of the country. Normal to mostly-below-average readings areeyed for the Pacific Northwest and California through the periods.

Tepidshoulder-season demand should allow for natural gas to flow more heavily intounderground storage facilities, providing further improvement in the rate ofweekly injections.

Forthe week ended Sept. 30, the U.S. Energy Information Administration reported asizeable 80-Bcf injectioninto natural gas storage. The addition brought total working gas stocks to3,680 Bcf, or 74 Bcf above the year-ago level and 205 Bcf above the five-yearaverage of 3,475 Bcf.

Theupcoming report to be released Oct. 13, which will cover the week ended Oct. 7,is expected to detail an even higher injection, somewhere near 90 Bcf. Thefigure will compare to the 97-Bcf year-ago addition and a 92-Bcf five-yearaverage injection.

Lookingto the tropics, the National Hurricane Center upgraded Tropical Storm Nicole,located about 355 miles south-southwest of Bermuda, to a hurricane in its 2p.m. ET update. On its current forecast track, the center of Nicole is expectedto approach Bermuda late Wednesday and pass near Bermuda early Oct. 13. Thesystem is not likely to impact the U.S. East or Gulf Coasts.

Instep with the recent volatility in futures, day-ahead natural gas values weremixed at the major U.S. consuming hubs Tuesday.

Inthe Northeast, cash gas at Transco Zone 6 NY was assessed at an average near$1.05/MMBtu, deflating more than 25 cents. In the producing region, gas at thebenchmark Henry Hub market in Louisiana was quoted at an average near$3.15/MMBtu, easing a few cents on the session.

Inthe Midwest, Chicago day-ahead gas was seen at an index of $3.10/MMBtu, gainingabout 10 cents from the day prior. Next-day gas at PG&E Gate came in about5 cents lower at about $3.45/MMBtu.

Market prices and includedindustry data are current as of the time of publication and are subject tochange. For more detailed market data, including our power,naturalgas and coalindex prices, as well as forwardsand futures,visit our Commodities Pages.