Natural gas futures traded firm at Rs 181.70 per mmBtu on January 21, as participants increased their long positions as seen by the open interest. On the NYMEX, natural gas declined 0.3 percent the previous day.
Natural gas opened in positive territory but pared gains in the afternoon, tracking overseas trend.
Despite a sharp fall this week, natural gas has managed to stay above the critical $2.5/mmBtu level and stuck in a range ahead of EIA weekly inventory data to be released later today.
Kshitij Purohit, Product Manager, Currency & Commodities, CapitalVia Global Research Limited, said, “Natural gas gave up down opening and traded lower throughout the day. According to the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration, the weather is expected to be warmer than normal throughout the mid-west for the next six-10 and eight-14 days. The support is at Rs 178, while multiple resistances are at Rs 190 and Rs 196.70 level.”
MCX iCOMDEX Natural Gas Index was marginally up 7.48 points, or 0.33 percent, at 2,279.85.
In the futures market, natural gas for January delivery touched an intraday high of Rs 186.30 and an intraday low of Rs 180.40 per mmBtu on MCX. In the current series, natural gas has touched a low of Rs 167.40 and a high of Rs 255.90.
Natural gas delivery for January gained Rs 0.80, or 0.44 percent, to Rs 181.70 per mmBtu at 1433 hours, with a business turnover of 10,291 lots. Delivery for February rose Rs 0.40, or 0.22 percent, to Rs 182.60 per mmBtu with a business volume of 7,143 lots.
The value of January and February contracts traded, so far, is Rs 1,359.56 crore and Rs 156.56 crore, respectively.
Natural gas may trade mixed amid lack of clear cues but general bias may be on the downside due to weaker demand outlook, said Kotak Securities.
At 0905 GMT, the natural gas price fell 2.05 percent quoting at $2.48 per mmBtu in New York.
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