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David Becker
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Natural gas prices moved lower on Friday, declining more than 3%, as warmer than normal weather is expected to cover most of the east coast for the next weeks. According to the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration, the weather is forecast to be cooler than normal on the west coast during the same period. Demand rose in the latest week driven by heating and power generation.

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Technical Analysis

Natural gas prices moved lower on Friday but finished the week up more than 5%. Support is seen near an upward sloping trend line that comes in near 2.45. Resistance is seen near the 50-day moving average at 2.67 and then the 10-day moving average at 2.63. Medium-term momentum is positive as the MACD (moving average convergence divergence) index recently generated a crossover buy signal. The MACD histogram is printing in positive territory with a sliding trajectory, which points to consolidation.  The RSI seemed to top out, which reflects decelerating positive momentum.

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Demand Climbs Driven by Heating

According to data from the EIA, total U.S. consumption of natural gas rose by 6.2% compared with the previous report week. Natural gas consumed for power generation climbed by 2.0% week over week. In the residential and commercial sectors, consumption increased by 12.5%. Industrial sector consumption increased by 0.9% week over week. Natural gas exports to Mexico increased 7.2%.

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