The US Natural Gas Prices Fell To A 2-Month Low

black and white gas stove

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At Monday's close, the Dow Jones Index (US30) decreased by 0.12%, while the S&P 500 Index (US500) was down 0.58%. The Nasdaq Technology Index (US100) closed yesterday negative 1.15%. A drop in chip company stocks negatively impacted the overall market on Wednesday after ASML Holding NV reported first-quarter net sales below consensus. Geopolitical risks in the Middle East continue to weigh on equities amid concerns that Israel will retaliate after Iran fired a barrage of missiles and drones at Israel over the weekend.

Equity markets in Europe mostly went up yesterday. Germany's DAX (DE40) added 0.02%, France's CAC 40 (FR40) closed up 0.62%, Spain's IBEX 35 (ES35) rose by 1.02%, and the UK's FTSE 100 (UK100) closed positive 0.35% on Wednesday. European equity markets opened higher on Thursday amid improving risk sentiment, while investors ignored another tech-driven sell-off on Wall Street.

Several ECB officials made statements yesterday. Cipollone of the ECB executive board said that if incoming data confirms that inflation is returning to the 2% target, removing some of the restrictive measures introduced in 2023 would be appropriate. This view was also supported by the representative of the ECB's Governing Council, Centeno. He added that it was time for the ECB to change monetary policy due to weak economic growth and progress on disinflation. But there was a counter-argument from ECB Governing Council spokesman Holzmann, who said he was not fully convinced that the ECB should start cutting interest rates in June, citing the results of the Eurozone wage debate and rising tensions in the Middle East, which poses risks to inflation.

WTI crude prices held below $83 a barrel on Thursday, having lost more than 3% in the previous session, amid signs that US oil supply remains strong and demand is rising. EIA data showed that US crude inventories rose by 2.735 million barrels last week, increasing for the fourth week and beating market expectations for a 1.6 million barrel increase. Meanwhile, the US said it would reimpose oil sanctions against Venezuela in response to President Nicolas Maduro's failure to fulfill his campaign pledges. European Union leaders also discussed new restrictions on Iran following its attack on Israel over the weekend. Any restrictions will keep oil prices from falling.

The US natural gas prices fell more than 3.5% to below $1.7 per MMBtu, the lowest in two months, due to a sharp decline in gas going to LNG export plants and a large surplus in storage. In addition, gas inventories are expected to be 36% above the seasonal average due to a combination of high initial inventory levels and a mild winter.

Asian markets traded without a single dynamic yesterday. Japan's Nikkei 225 (JP225) was down 1.32%, China's FTSE China A50 (CHA50) was up 0.79%, Hong Kong's Hang Seng (HK50) added 0.02%, and Australia's ASX 200 (AU200) was negative 0.09%.

On Wednesday, China's central bank said it will maintain a cautious monetary policy and ensure the efficient utilization of financial resources. It added that the authorities will ensure that the yuan's movement is mainly driven by supply and demand. Meanwhile, economists forecast that China's central bank will cut the RRR by 25 bps in Q3 2024 after it cut the rate by 50 bps earlier this year, the biggest cut in 2 years.

Australia's labor market report came out mixed. Australia's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate rose to 3.8% in March 2024 from February's five-month low of 3.7% but below market forecasts of 3.9%. The number of unemployed increased by 20.6 thousand to 569.9 thousand, while those looking for work rose by 19.3 thousand to 371.3 thousand.

  • S&P 500 (US500) 5,022.21 −29.20 (−0.58%)
  • Dow Jones (US30) 37,735.11 −45.66 (−0.12%)
  • DAX (DE40) 17,770.02 +3.79 (+0.021%)
  • FTSE 100 (UK100) 7,847.99 +27.63 (+0.35%)
  • USD Index 105.86 -0.09 (-0.09%)
     

Important events today:

  • Australia Unemployment Rate (m/m) at 04:30 (GMT+3);
  • US Initial Jobless Claims (w/w) at 15:30 (GMT+3);
  • US Philadelphia Fed Manufacturing Index (m/m) at 15:30 (GMT+3);
  • US Existing Home Sales (m/m) at 17:00 (GMT+3);
  • US Natural Gas Storage (w/w) at 17:30 (GMT+3).

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Disclosure: This article reflects a personal opinion and should not be interpreted as an investment advice, and/or offer, and/or a persistent request for carrying out financial transactions, ...

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