Natural Gas Forecast: Will Warm Weather Put a Lid on the Rally?

By Dean Rogers

Evolving weather models that had previously predicted a cold spell in the Northeast U.S. and in the Great Lakes region are reportedly now forecasting above normal temperatures in early January. This could dampen the likelihood of a further price rally for natural gas in coming weeks, and the charts tend to agree.

Today’s decline was quite negative for the near-term outlook, and $2.16 is an important target that should be tested in coming days. This is near the 0.618 projection of the wave down from $2.386 and the 38 percent retracement of the move up from $1.80. A close below $2.16 would call for $2.09 and $2.03.

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That said, this is a tough call right now because the market still seems desperate to rally after recently falling to 16 year lows. Wednesday’s decline could be a correction of the move up as prices attempt to extend toward a highly confluent $2.51 level. The late rally in trading after hours on Wednesday indicates $2.31 and even $2.37 might be tested in early trading ahead of Thursday’s EIA Natural Gas Storage report. We expect $2.37 will hold.

It is a bit early to call for a trading range, but we get the sense that is the most likely scenario for natural gas in coming weeks. The boundaries of the range could be quite wide, between approximately $2.03 and $2.37. Trading over the next few days should give us a better sense of what is in store for natural gas prices in early 2016.

This is a brief natural gas forecast for the next day or so. Our weekly Natural Gas Commentary is a much more detailed and thorough analysis. If you are interested in learning more, please sign up for a complimentary four-week trial.

By Dean Rogers

Natural gas is finally showing some signs of life as 2015 comes to a close. Reports that colder than normal temperatures along the East Coast and in the Great Lakes region for the first week of January have sparked a much needed relief rally from recent 16-year lows.

February natural gas, which will become the prompt futures contract on January 30, rallied to $2.061 on Wednesday and settled at $2.036. This was above the December 14 gap down from $2.022. Confluent technical resistance was met at $2.061, a crucial wave projection that connects to $2.13, $2.22, and $2.27. The wave $1.802 – 2.011 – 1.933 that met its 0.618 projection at $2.061, the close over the $2.022 gap, the break higher out of an intraday bullish descending triangle, and KaseX’s pierced dart signal (green arrow, bullish divergence, and yellow triangle, first buy signal) indicate the move up should extend to at least $2.08 and very likely $2.13 over the next few trading days.

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There is little doubt that the move up is corrective of the longer-term decline, and it is too soon to definitively state that a long-term bottom has been made. Tomorrow’s EIA Weekly Natural Gas Storage Report could make or break the rally in the short-run. Lighter trade volume around the holidays is also a concern that could lead to the rally being short-lived. However, if temperatures do turn colder than normal in key areas of the U.S. as anticipated in coming weeks, bullish sentiment alone could support prices above $1.90 for the interim.

Wednesday’s $2.00 midpoint is first support, and will likely be tested on Thursday. If the move up is going to continue it should hold $1.96 and has to hold $1.90. The $1.96 threshold is near Wednesday’s open and the 38 percent retracement of the move up from $1.802 to $2.061. A move below $1.96 would not only call for the $1.933 swing lows to be taken out, but more importantly for a test of the 62 percent retracement at $1.90. A close below $1.90 would indicate the rally is over and that another test of recent lows is right around the corner.

This is a brief natural gas forecast for the next day or so. Our weekly Natural Gas Commentary is a much more detailed and thorough analysis. If you are interested in learning more, please sign up for a complimentary four-week trial.

By Dean Rogers

The outlook for natural gas is still bearish, and without support from weather or a strong increase in industrial demand, it will most likely remain that way. However, there are a few positive technical setups that indicate a small correction to $1.90 and even $1.959 might take place first.

Monday’s gap down from $1.959 still needs to be filled. This might be an exhaustion gap, but at this point it is looking more like a measuring gap that projects to $1.65. Wednesday’s morning star setup indicates prices could make a push for at least $1.90 to try and confirm the pattern. The Stochastic is deeply oversold (and has been for some time) and the KasePO is setup for bullish divergence as it nears oversold territory. If Wednesday’s $1.775 low holds, there is a good chance for the daily bullish KasePO divergence to be confirmed. Confirming the divergence, and confirming the morning star setup with a close over $1.90, would boost odds for filling the $1.959 gap.

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That said, longer-term odds still favor the decline and any move up will be corrective and hard pressed to overcome $1.959 without support from aforementioned external factors. Once the correction is complete (if it takes place at all), we expect prices to fall to $1.73 and $1.65.

This is a brief natural gas forecast for the next day or so. Our weekly Natural Gas Commentary is a much more detailed and thorough analysis. If you are interested in learning more, please sign up for a complimentary four week trial.

By Dean Rogers

Natural gas is still looking for support from weather, but until cold temperatures arrive in key areas of the U.S. prices should continue to grind lower. The negative bias is confirmed by KaseX’s filtered short signal (purple diamonds).

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January futures met an important target at $2.15 on Wednesday. This was the 0.618 projection for the wave $2.347 – 2.175 – 2.259. A close below $2.15 would call for key support at $2.10, the 1.00 projection.

The importance of $2.15 indicates a correction might take place first, but look for resistance at $2.22 to hold. A close over $2.22 would call for $2.26 and possibly $2.30. A move higher than $2.30 is doubtful without support from weather.

This is a brief natural gas forecast for the next day or so. Our weekly Natural Gas Commentary is a much more detailed and thorough analysis. If you are interested in learning more, please sign up for a complimentary four week trial.

By Dean Rogers

Natural gas’s upward correction has been held at bay as the market seeks frigid temperatures to support a move higher. January is settling into the familiar range between approximately $2.26 and $2.39 that December oscillated in before it finally broke lower. This is likely where prices will remain for the rest of the week due to the Thanksgiving holiday.

The move up is corrective, and that point was verified on Wednesday when prices initially broke higher out of an intraday coil and subsequently stalled at $2.347 before overcoming the $2.351 swing high.

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Meeting the 0.618 projection for the wave $2.229 – 2.351 – 2.258 indicates January could still test $2.39, which is near the 1.00 projection and the 38 percent retracement of the decline from $2.60 to $2.229, as long as the $2.258 swing low holds. However, without support from external factors (cold temperatures) the market will be hard pressed to rise above $2.39 and extend to the next confluence point of $2.48.

Odds favor the decline and a test of $2.26 by the end of this week. This is a tough call right now because the market is sitting on major support, and external factors could turn this market higher in a heartbeat. Therefore, provided $2.26 can hold, there is still a reasonable chance the upward correction will extend to $2.39, but at this point we would not hold our breath.

Happy Thanksgiving to all!

This is a brief natural gas forecast for the next day or so. Our weekly Natural Gas Commentary is a much more detailed and thorough analysis. If you are interested in learning more, please sign up for a complimentary four week trial.

By Dean Rogers

As we stated last week, the natural gas call is extremely tight right now. The market can only tell us what it knows about itself, and right now the market is not sure what it knows.

The move up from $2.188 stalled at $2.398 on November 6, and since then prices have worked their way lower in an extremely choppy manner to test major support at $2.25. This level held on today’s close, so technically prices are still trading within the range.

The market is waiting on cold weather to push it higher, but today’s price action did not help short-term bulls. It will eventually get cold and prices will rise, but today’s decline to $2.25 puts odds slightly in favor (around 60 percent) of a decline to test least $2.20 and possibly $2.12 over the next few days.

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That said, $2.25 is an extremely important and highly confluent wave projection and retracement that has been tested a few times and has held on a closing basis since the move up from $2.188 began on October 30. Therefore, caution is warranted, and given the circumstances, we would not be at all surprised to see $2.25 continue to hold.

From a trading strategy standpoint, this is a time that we would normally recommend sitting on the sidelines for a bit while waiting for a more concise direction and break out of the $2.25 to $2.37 range. Upon a close below $2.25 or above $2.37, a trade may be taken upon a confirming long or short signal from indicators like Kase StatWare or KaseX. Shorter bar lengths are also recommended because they will help limit risk and should be used to pinpoint entries and exits and determine stop levels until there is a close either below $2.12 or above $2.48. At that point a clear long-term trend will have been established and trades may then be scaled to longer bar lengths with wider stops.

This is a brief natural gas forecast ahead of tomorrow’s EIA report. Our weekly Natural Gas Commentary is a much more detailed and thorough analysis. If you are interested in learning more, please sign up for a complimentary four week trial.

By Dean Rogers

Natural gas cautiously rose to $2.317 to fulfill the smaller than (0.618) projection for the wave $2.188 – 2.336 – 2.231. Typically, a move to $2.38 would now be expected because waves that meet the 0.618 projection normally extend to at least the equal to (1.00) projection. The pullback to $2.255 is a bit worrisome, but until the $2.231 swing low is taken out odds favor of a move to $2.38. This is a crucial target because $2.38 is the 38 percent retracement from $2.78 to $2.188 and makes a connection to $2.48 where last week’s gap would be filled.

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KaseX warned that the decline from $2.317 would extend (yellow triangle), and as stated, support at $2.25 is already being challenged. A move below $2.231 would take out the wave up from $2.188 and its projections to $2.38 and higher. This would in turn shift odds back in favor of a decline to $2.11 to fulfill the requirements of the textbook five wave pattern down from $3.391 as discussed last week.

This is a brief natural gas forecast ahead of tomorrow’s EIA report. Our weekly Natural Gas Commentary is a much more detailed and thorough analysis. If you are interested in learning more, please sign up for a complimentary four week trial.

By Dean Rogers

As discussed last week, everyone is looking for the natural gas bottom. I am sure no one wants me to step back onto my “picking bottoms is a dangerous game” soap box, so I will just reiterate that the best anyone can do is identify potential turning points and look to time entries and exits that fit their trading style, risk appetite, and goals.

With that in mind, let’s discuss the potential turning points for natural gas at today’s $2.263 swing low and at $2.11, the latter of which I think is the most likely point for a bottom to be made.

December’s wave structure down from $3.391 has unfolded in a five-wave pattern. We are not Elliott Wave fanatics or strict practitioners, but when a textbook pattern forms we pay attention.

Below are some of the basic Elliott Wave rules we abide by and look for when a five-wave pattern forms.

Basic Elliot Wave Rules, according to Kase:

  • A five-wave pattern is made up of three impulse waves and two corrective waves
  • Two of the three impulse waves should be equal in size
  • The impulse waves, labeled I, III, and V, should break down into five sub-waves.
  • Wave III cannot be the smallest impulse wave
  • Waves I, III, and IV should be proportional to one another (0.618, 1.00, 1.382, 1.618, etc.)

For the five-wave pattern down from $3.391 wave I met its 1.618 projection at $2.607 (end of wave III) and trend terminus (2.9693/3.3912) at $2.263 (potential end of wave V). The lowest that wave I projects is $2.12 as the 2.764 extension.

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Given the importance of $2.263, the ticks up after the close, and oversold conditions on the KasePO, KaseCD, and slow stochastic, prices might turn higher from this level.

However, at this point there are not two equal waves. At $2.36 waves I and V were equal, but prices fell to $2.263. At $2.10 waves III and V will be equal. Therefore, based upon the basic Elliott Wave Rules, December will likely fall to the confluence point of $2.11 where wave I will have met its 2.764 projection and waves III and V will be equal.

From $2.11 we would expect to see a three-wave correction, and because of the time of year, a significant rally as the market heads into the winter heating season. A sustainable rally will be confirmed by a KasePO PeakOut, KaseCD KCDpeak, and %K over %D crossover as momentum rises out of oversold territory on the slow stochastic.

There are no guarantees that $2.11 will hold over the course of the longer-term, but this has become the most likely point at which a bottom will be made.

This is a brief natural gas forecast ahead of tomorrow’s EIA report. Our weekly Natural Gas Commentary is a much more detailed and thorough analysis. If you are interested in learning more, please sign up for a complimentary four week trial.

By Dean Rogers

This is the time of year when everyone is looking for a bottom and pre-winter rally for natural gas. The logic and seasonal timing make sense, but picking bottoms is a dangerous game. Those that successfully time the bottom are more lucky than good. The best that most mere mortals can hope for is to be prepared for the turn so that they can react in an effective manner that fits their goals, strategy, and risk appetite.

This is why it is important to have a forecast and directional opinion (and yes, sideways is a direction) about the market in addition to a set of reliable indicators like Kase StatWare or KaseX to time entries and exits. The forecast is the framework for the market that lets you know where key support and resistance are and when you can expect correction and potential trend reversal. Indicators tell you when to get in, where to place stops, and when to get out.

For instance, $2.40 was major support for November natural gas. This was a highly confluent target, and we had discussed this level as a potential stalling point for many weeks (even months) leading up to the decline to $2.403 on October 2. However, the subsequent move up was shallow, choppy, and corrective. Long trades could have been taken on shorter bar lengths during the corrective move up, but in our detailed weekly forecasts and mid-week blog updates we anticipated another decline and test of $2.40 because the market was struggling to overcome key resistance levels at $2.48 and $2.59.

November fell to $2.41 on October 16 and started to bounce again. The move stalled at $2.50 on Tuesday, October 20 and prices fell to new lows for November and the winter contracts on Wednesday, October 21.

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$2.40 has held so far on a closing basis, but a sustained close below this level will open the way for at least $2.33, the 1.00 projection for the wave $2.578 – 2.41 – 2.499 and very likely $2.27. The latter is a confluent objective for the waves down from $2.859, $2.72, and $2.578 making it the next potential point at which a bottom could be made.

Most technical factors are negative and there is little evidence that the decline is going to stall. However, the importance of support at $2.33 and especially $2.27 indicate that we should be prepared for at least another correction and a potential bottom soon. Keep a close eye on your indicators to tell you when to time your entries and watch for closes above key resistance levels to confirm the move down has ended.

For now, initial resistance is $2.45 and key resistance, for the near term, is $2.50.

This is a brief natural gas forecast ahead of tomorrow’s EIA report. Our weekly Natural Gas Commentary is a much more detailed and thorough analysis. If you are interested in learning more, please sign up for a complimentary four week trial.

By Dean Rogers

Spot natural gas is still looking a bit unsure of the move up, but the forward months, especially the winter strip, are looking reasonably positive. This likely indicates that a longer-term move up is underway, but for now it is looking like the prompt month could settle into a choppy trading range while it awaits more data (weather) to push natural gas prices higher or lower.

November futures stalled at $2.559 before reaching crucial resistance at $2.57. Tuesday’s bearish engulfing line was followed by a positive move on Wednesday. Resistance at $2.57 should be tested. A close over $2.57 would call for $2.63 which then connects to $2.68. First support is $2.49, but the key level for the near-term is near $2.43. A close below this would confirm the move up has failed and would open way for a new low.

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This is a brief natural gas forecast ahead of tomorrow’s EIA report. Our weekly Natural Gas Commentary is a much more detailed and thorough analysis. If you are interested in learning more, please sign up for a complimentary four week trial.