Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Natural Gas Prices

A steep decline in natural-gas futures amid forecasts for above-average temperatures in the eastern United States this week weighed across the energy sector Tuesday, dragging crude futures off the early highs hit as Iran vowed to defy United Nations sanctions on its nuclear research.

Natural-gas futures for January delivery tumbled 52.2 cents, or 7.9%, to close at $6.113 per million British thermal units, the contract's lowest level since July 2004.

"Storage and weather -- these are the two factors that control the market, and neither one is going to exert a positive influence anytime soon," said Mike Fitzpatrick, an energy analyst at Fimat USA.