U.S. natural gas speculators boosted their net long positions for the first time in five weeks, betting prices will rise as exports increase and lingering cold weather cuts further into already low inventories.
Speculators in four major New York Mercantile Exchange (NYMEX) and Intercontinental Exchange (ICE) markets added to their bullish bets by 28,317 contracts to 221,087 in the week to April 17, the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission said on Friday.
That compares with a five-year (2013-2017) average speculative net long position of 161,450. The biggest net long position was 456,475 in April 2013, while the biggest net short position was 166,165 in November 2015, according to Reuters data. Gas futures on the NYMEX averaged $2.72 per million British thermal units during the five trading days ended April 17 versus $2.69 during the five trading days ended April 10. Read More
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