Range Continues — Market Internals Signalling Potential Changes
Prices continued the range that has held the market for five weeks now. During this time period there have been some internal development in the broader market that should be noted. First is open interest – it peaked in September at 1,468,636 contracts (during the extraordinary rally), and now has started to fall during the last three weeks of December. These declines have established a year end low of 1,108,463 (the lowest total of contracts outstanding in more than four years) while prompt gas has managed to post three weekly closes (3.690, 3.731 and 3.730). The inability to extend the lows further no several attempts suggests that the gas market has absorbed an historical liquidation and is likely run out of sellers. High levels of open interest tend to occur when everyone wants to own some gas in anticipation of higher prices, low levels when few do.
Some food for thought –A year ago prompt gas fell from an early November high to a pre – January expiration low of 2.238 on December 28th. Since then that low has never been tested. This year the February’s pre – New Year’s low traded on December 30th. Interesting things often occur around the anniversaries of previous significant events. The summer strip has turned back higher without testing its 40 – week SMA all while prompt and winter prices have faced serious selling.