November natural gas prices traded modestly higher during the early morning hours, supported by favorable rig count data on Friday and prospects for colder US conditions later this week. The latest Baker Hughes rig count data showed the number of US rigs drilling for natural gas falling by 9, but the total remained well above the 900 level. Some traders indicated that the more immediate focus appeared to be on weather and prospects for colder temperatures throughout the Northeast later this week. This is a factor expected to boost heat-related demand for natural gas. The Commitments of Traders Futures and Options report as of October 18th showed non-commercial traders were net short 163,970 contracts, a decrease of 1,179. Non-commercial and nonreportable traders combined held a net short position of 144,165 contracts, an increase of 4,937. Money managers were seen as light sellers on the week.
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