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David Becker
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Natural gas prices moved lower on Friday, despite a 2-rig drop during the current week. Prices pushed through support but rebounded to close above support levels. The weather is expected to be warmer than normal for the next 2-weeks throughout the middle of the United States. A weaker than expected Chicago PMI also weighed on natural gas prices.

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Technical Analysis

Natural gas prices moved lower on Friday, initially breaking through support near an upward sloping trend line that comes in near 1.83. Resistance is seen near the 10-day moving average at 1.89. Short term support has turned positive as the fast stochastic generated a crossover buy signal in oversold territory. The current reading on the fast stochastic is 18, below the oversold trigger level of 20 which could foreshadow a correction. Medium-term momentum remains negative as the MACD (moving average convergence divergence) histogram prints in the red with a downward sloping trajectory which points to lower prices.

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Rig Count Declines

Baker Hughes reported that the number of active U.S. rigs drilling for natural gas declined by 2 and oil declined by 15 to 222 this week. The oil-rig count has now fallen for 11 weeks in a row, suggesting further declines in domestic natural gas output. The total active U.S. rig count, meanwhile, also fell by 17 to 301, according to Baker Hughes.

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