Gas slid 1.4 percent as Commodity Weather Group LLC said bitter cold across the lower 48 states next week will give way to higher temperatures along the East Coast from Feb. 10 through Feb. 14. The Midwest will see still below-normal readings.
“It looks like this new cycle coming in from the west could push warmer temperatures,” said Phil Flynn, senior market analyst at Price Futures Group based in Chicago. “If temperatures moderate, we may be able to get the market back down to the lower $4s.”
Natural gas for March delivery declined 6.8 cents to settle at $4.943 per million British thermal units on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Trading volume was 13 percent above the 100-day average at 2:35 p.m. Gas futures fell 4.6 percent this week. Prices jumped 17 percent in January, the biggest monthly gain since September 2012.
The premium for March gas to April narrowed to 48.9 cents from 65.3 cents yesterday. April traded 7.5 cents above May versus 7.4 cents yesterday.
Gas futures are the most volatile component in the Standard & Poor’s GSCI commodity index. Prices surged 10 percent to a four-year high of $5.557 on Jan. 28 on an outlook for more frigid weather, and plunged 8.3 percent the next day as some forecast models showed arctic air abating.