Why You Should Sell UNG, Buy FCG

Natural gas prices have taken investors and traders alike on a dismal ride down a slippery slope that few could have predicted. Many are worried that fuel prices won’t recover any time soon given the overarching fundamentals. Developments in the fracking process coupled with uncharacteristically mild weather have translated into weaker than expected demand along with towering stockpiles; two major headwinds for any commodity. Record low natural gas prices may be discouraging even the bravest of investors from speculating in the current environment, however, indirect exposure through the equity market may present itself as an appealing approach for some [see 25 Ways To Invest In Natural Gas].

Those betting on a turnaround in the United States Natural Gas Fund (UNG) have probably lost their nerve multiple times over the last year seeing as how this ETP has been consistently sinking and making new lows along the way. UNG completed a reverse 4-for-1 split in late February of this year because the share price had sunk dangerously low to the $5 level. Nonetheless, this effort proved futile in the face of selling pressures and UNG has once again resumed its long-term downtrend [see also 12 High-Yielding Commodities For 2012].

Commodity prices are influenced by three major factors: supply, demand, and speculation. However, the ever changing combination of these factors is likely too complex to deal with for the average investor, which makes UNG a less-than-ideal instrument for most. Investors who are intimidated by the volatility in the futures market, but still wish to make a play on natural gas, ought to consider FCG instead [see The Ultimate Guide To Natural Gas Investing].

The Appeal Of FCG

This ISE-Reverse Natural Gas Index Fund (FCG) tracks an equal-weighted index comprised of companies that derive a substantial portion of their revenues from the exploration and production of natural gas. Falling prices have certainly taken their toll on commodity producers, although FCG has fared considerably better than UNG over the past few years; in fact, UNG is down close to 30% year-to-date alone while FCG is flat [see also King Of Commodity Dividends: ETF Style].

Natural gas is becoming a bigger part of our global energy infrastructure and the recent price action in the futures market is simply reflecting the tremendous advancements of extraction technology in the industry, which has inevitably translated into unfavorable supply conditions for commodity prices. Demand for this fuel has been climbing at home as well as overseas given the increasing availability and affordability. FCG gives investors exposure to this corner of the energy market through a basket of 31 natural gas producers. The underlying portfolio is equal-weighted and thus no single holding accounts for more than 4% of total assets.

From a technical perspective, this ETF has been marching higher since bottoming out at $14.25 a share, although it has also failed to summit resistance at the $20 level on several occasions. Investors should note that FCG has considerable support around $17 a share given the spikes in trading volumes near this level. Those who are looking to buy in at current levels should be aware of the potential resistance that FCG could encounter as it approaches the $20 level [see also Beyond UNG: Three Intruiging ETFs To Play Natural Gas].

Disclosure: No positions at time of writing.

This entry was posted in Commodity ETF Analysis, Commodity ETFs, Commodity Futures, Commodity Producers, Energy, Exclusive, Natural Gas and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

Commodity HQ is not an investment advisor, and any content published by Commodity HQ does not constitute individual investment advice. The opinions offered herein are not personalized recommendations to buy, sell or hold securities or investment assets. Read the full disclaimer here.

5 Responses to “Why You Should Sell UNG, Buy FCG”

  1. [...] The bulls ran will on Wall Street as fairly upbeat commentary from the Fed coupled with better-than-expected retail sales data paved the way higher for stocks across the board. The Nasdaq led the way higher, gaining 1.88% on the day, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average lagged behind, although not by much, inching higher by 1.68%. Crude oil prices took traders for a wild ride amidst the stock market euphoria; prices hit a low near $105.80 a barrel barrel in early morning trading, only to climb as high as $107.35 a barrel around noon [see also Why You Should Sell UNG, Buy FCG].  [...]

  2. [...] Despite the worrisome downturn in natural gas prices, Exxon expects this fuel to play a key part in our economic landscape over the next several years. It is predicted that natural gas will grow fast enough to overtake coal as the second most popular fuel behind oil. In fact, Exxon estimates that natural gas demand will rise by more than 60% through 2040 [see Why You Should Sell UNG, Buy FCG]. [...]

  3. Guest says:

    ISE-REVERE … –… NOT…: “Reverse”.

  4. [...] Natural gas has become popular as an investment destination in recent years, as the massive discoveries and technological improvements have made it increasingly likely that this fuel will account for a growing piece of the global energy equation going forward. But tapping into this trend can be tricky; despite growing demand, prices have fallen as supply has surged. Moreover, the persistently steep contango in natural gas futures markets, especially at the short end of the curve, means that products such as GAZ and UNG are essentially facing an uphill fight all the way. [...]

  5. [...] Often times, investors will choose the most popular security or fund to gain exposure to commodities. While a fund’s popularity often speaks to the quality of its strategy, this is not always the case. Many times, there are smaller alternatives that will outperform their larger counterparts. One of the prime examples comes from two ETFs that both track natural gas futures, UNG and GASZ. While UNG has been one of the worst performing ETFs in history, its competitor tracks the same commodity with a different strategy and very different returns [see also Why You Should Sell UNG, Buy FCG]. [...]

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