Natural gas futures plunged Friday, dipping to their lowest in over a year. Meanwhile, natural gas stock exchange traded funds are surging along with the broader U.S. markets.
The United States Natural Gas Fund (NYSEArca: UNG) fell 5.1% Friday. In the past five trading sessions, UNG declined 8.5%, whereas the First Trust ISE-Revere Natural Gas Index Fund (NYSEArca: FCG), which is comprised of natural gas exploration and production companies, gained 10.5%.
Additionally, the Direxion Daily Natural Gas Related Bull 3X (NYSEArca: GASL), which takes the 3x or 300% daily performance of the ISE Revere Natural Gas Index, has also jumped 33.6% over the past five sessions.
Nevertheless, natural gas-related assets are still in the negative this year. Year-to-date, UNG decreased 9.4%, FCG plunged 40.5% and GASL plummeted 84.9%. [10 Worst Leveraged ETFs of 2014]
The rally in energy stocks suggests that investors have been jumping on cheap natural gas producers in the wake of the severe sell-off in anything oil related as crude prices dropped to five-year lows. For instance, FCG is trading at a 14.5 price-to-earnings ratio and a 1.1 price-to-book. In contrast, the S&P 500 index shows a 17.6 P/E and a 2.4 P/B. [Diverging Energy Sector and Oil Futures ETFs]
Meanwhile, NYMEX natural gas futures declined 4.1% Friday to $3.5 per million British thermal units, and it appears that high production could keep prices suppressed.