Natural Gas steadies despite escalating Middle Eastern tensions
Natural Gas trades in a tight range around $2.50.
Traders see short-term reasons for sending Gas futures higher.
The US Dollar Index remains steady in the mid-103.00 area after a failed close overnight.
Natural Gas (XNG/USD) is off the lows after its steep decline throughout this week. Although supply is still very much solid and flowing, there are a few elements that are starting to worry traders. The biggest factor is the escalation of tensions in Yemen, with more strikes in the Red Sea, and Iran attacking Pakistan.
Meanwhile, the US Dollar (USD) is playing with fire after the Greenback has been on a tear all week. In the late hours of the US closing bell on Wednesday, the US Dollar Index (DXY) retreated and failed to hold ground above two important technical supports. This means that the lifecycle of this recent US Dollar strength could be short-lived.
Natural Gas is trading at $2.51 per MMBtu at the time of writing.
Natural Gas market movers: Worries on the summer for Europe
●Frost in Texas and Louisiana is making it impossible to load US Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) onto carriers. This means some delay in deliveries in the short term even as warmer weather is expected to come in next week .
●Europe looks well equipped to get through the winter for this year. However, not many deals have been put on the table to get Gas in over the summer to get ready for the next winter. The longer this takes, the bigger the risk of a shortfall for next year.
●The situation in the Red Sea is entering a next level of heightened tensions with more attacks reported by US and UK forces in Yemen against Houthi rebels.
●Next to that, Iran has sent several high members of its civil guard to Yemen to stand with the Houthi rebels while Iran itself has performed attacks against Pakistan.
●At 15:30 GMT, the Energy Information Administration will release the weekly Gas Storage changes. Expectations are for a drawdown from 140 billion cubic metres to a drawdown of 164 billion cubic metres.
Natural Gas Technical Analysis: A bit too low
Natural Gas is trying to salvage a touch from its steep decline earlier this week. Seeing the above bullet points, the current level near $2.50 might be a bit too cheap. A risk premium to be added makes sense and could still come overtime, with a fair value seen near $2.70.
On the upside, Natural Gas is facing all the important Simple Moving Averages (SMA) as resistance levels. First up, nearby is the 200-day SMA near $2.75. Next up is the 55-day SMA at $2.85. Last but not least, the 100-day SMA is at $2.95, near $3.
The ascending trend line broke earlier this week and already triggered firm rejection on Wednesday at the top side. Support near $2.47 is held for now. In case Gas prices fall further, expect to see a full swing decline towards $2.20 and test the low of December.
XNG/USD (Daily Chart), Source: FXSTREET.
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