Natural Gas News: Trader Reaction to 50-Day Moving Average Sets the Tone

James Hyerczyk
Published: Apr 24, 2024, 12:01 GMT+00:00

Key Points:

  • Traders eyeing 50-day moving average for direction.
  • AI data centers could require 8.5 bcfd more natural gas.
  • Market volatility likely, bullish trend expected beyond 2025.
Natural Gas News

In this article:

U.S. Natural Gas Market Overview

U.S. natural gas futures faced a slight decline on Wednesday, following an unsuccessful attempt to breach the 50-day moving average during the previous session. This technical indicator has been a key resistance level, indicating a possible trigger for an upside breakout in the near future.

At 11:50 GMT, natural gas futures are trading $1.807, down $0.005 or -0.28%.

Recent Market Movements

Natural gas prices showed resilience, bouncing back from initial losses earlier in the session. This rebound was primarily fueled by an increase in U.S. LNG exports and significant pipeline maintenance activities, which led to lower gas production estimates. The increase in LNG exports is particularly noteworthy, suggesting a shift towards greater demand in the energy market.

Impact of AI and Technology on Demand

A recent report by Tudor Pickering Holt & Co. highlighted the potential for a significant rise in natural gas demand, driven by increased power consumption at AI data centers. It’s estimated that an additional 8.5 billion cubic feet per day will be needed to meet this surge in demand by the latter half of the decade. U.S. power and technology sectors have raised concerns about the current pace of electrical infrastructure development, which has struggled to keep up with the rapid growth in power requirements from advanced technologies.

Market Forecast and Opportunities

Despite touching a three-and-a-half-year low in February, due to mild winter conditions, natural gas prices are forecasted to average around $4 per million British thermal units in the coming years. Analysts see pipeline operators like Kinder Morgan and Williams, alongside producers like EQT and Chesapeake Energy, as well positioned to benefit from this expected increase in demand. Moreover, the report from Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory shows a growing backlog of power generation and energy storage projects, indicating robust demand moving forward.

Short-term Outlook

In the short term, the market might experience some volatility as it adjusts to fluctuating demand and supply trends. However, the underlying indicators of increased demand—particularly from the tech sector—suggest a bullish outlook for U.S. natural gas markets going into 2025 and beyond. The strategic moves by major players like EQT to extend production curtailments also support a scenario where supply tightness could elevate prices in the near to mid-term, offering a potentially lucrative period for investors and market participants.

Technical Analysis

Daily Natural Gas

U.S. natural gas futures are putting in a two-sided performance early Wednesday, but remain within striking distance of the 50-day moving average at $1.873 that is likely to determined the near-term tone of the market.

With the long-term trend down, sellers are likely to come in on the first test of this trend indicator. However, overtaking it could trigger an acceleration to the upside.

A failure to overcome resistance will only indicate the market is still in the strong hands of sellers. This will likely lead to a continuation of the consolidation pattern.

Taking out the resistance could trigger a massive short-covering rally if the move is accompanied by bullish news.

About the Author

James is a Florida-based technical analyst, market researcher, educator and trader with 35+ years of experience. He is an expert in the area of patterns, price and time analysis as it applies to futures, Forex, and stocks.

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