The cold snap sweeping the nation has been met with mixed reviews, but one area it has undoubtedly benefited is natural gas exchange traded funds (ETFs).
Natural gas futures recently hit a two-week high on a mix of factors:
- Colder-than-normal weather forecasts
- A slightly diminished surplus of gas storage
- A decline in U.S. gas rig counts, which is at a 10-month low, reports Christine Buurma for BusinessWeek. U.S. gas rigs dropped by 12 to 919 last week, writes Moming Zhou for Bloomberg.
According to the Energy Department, almost 53% of U.S. homes use natural gas for heating. The cold weather was enough to boost United States Natural Gas (NYSEArca: UNG) more than 7% in the last two weeks, while United States 12-Month Natural Gas (NYSEArca: UNL) and First Trust ISE-Revere Natural Gas (NYSEArca: FCG) performed similarly well.
The price difference between oil and natural gas is at an all-time high, remarks Kevin McElroy for TheStreet. In the last half of 2009, the last time natural gas was this relatively cheap compared to oil, natural gas prices doubled after four months.
As long as this cold weather persists, natural gas ETFs could remain an appealing opportunity. Forecasts now say that the cold will hold until at least mid-January.
For more information on natural gas, visit our natural gas category.
Max Chen contributed to this article.
The opinions and forecasts expressed herein are solely those of Tom Lydon, and may not actually come to pass. Information on this site should not be used or construed as an offer to sell, a solicitation of an offer to buy, or a recommendation for any product.