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Natural Gas Prices Rise for the 5th Consecutive Session

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Aug. 19 2016, Updated 10:06 a.m. ET

Natural gas prices  

September natural gas futures fell by 0.2% and were trading at $2.66 per MMBtu (million British thermal units) in electronic trading on August 19, 2016, at 6:40 AM EST. US natural gas prices have risen in the five consecutive sessions to August 18, 2016.

Expectations of moderate weather next week could pressure natural gas prices. For more on the weather and prices, read the previous part of the series.

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Peaks in 2016  

US natural gas futures hit a 2016 high of $2.99 per MMBtu on July 1, 2016. On August 18, 2016, prices were down by 10.7% from their 2016 highs. Natural gas prices are up by 5.6% YTD (year-to-date). In the last three months, prices are up by 14.3% due to expectations of a hot summer, short covering, and traders watching for possible impacts from La Niña.

Higher natural gas prices have a positive impact on the earnings of natural gas producers such as EXCO Resources (XCO), Gulfport Energy (GPOR), and Memorial Resources (MRD).

Lows in 2016 

US natural gas prices hit a 17-year and 2016 low of $1.64 on March 3, 2016, due to mild weather, weak demand, strong supplies, and high inventories. On August 18, 2016, prices are up by 62.8% from their 2016 lows.

The 52-week range for US natural gas prices is $2.01–$2.99 per MMBtu. Prices are down by 9.4% in the last one year.

Lower natural gas prices have a negative impact on the earnings of natural gas producers such as EXCO Resources (XCO), Gulfport Energy (GPOR), and Memorial Resources (MRD).

They also impact funds such as the Direxion Daily Natural Gas Related Bull 3x Shares ETF (GASL), the PowerShares DWA Energy Momentum ETF (PXI), the United States Natural Gas ETF (UNG), and the First Trust ISE-Revere Natural Gas ETF (FCG).

We’ll learn more about US natural gas inventories in part three of this series.

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