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Gas Bears Bathing in Shale Glut Raise Net Short Bets to Record

Hedge funds raised bearish bets on U.S. natural gas to a record as warm weather threatened to crimp demand for the heating fuel this winter.

Money managers boosted net-short positions in four U.S. gas contracts by 26 percent in the week ended Sept. 29, the most in U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission data going back to 2010. Bullish speculators cut their long-only holdings to a record low.

Gas futures hit a three-year low this month after higher-than-average temperatures shrank demand for the power-plant fuel to the least since May. The slide in consumption is exacerbating a supply glut that’s expanding for the 10th straight year as production from shale formations such as the Marcellus and Utica floods the market, Energy Information Administration data show.

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