crude oil futures news

crude oil futures news

November 20th, 2017

Natural gas futures started the week off with sharp losses on Monday, as traders reacted to forecasts calling for less heating demand through the end of this month.

U.S. natural gas futures sank 6.2 cents, or around 2%, to $3.035 per million British thermal units by 9:00AM ET (1400GMT). It reached its worst level since Nov. 3 at $3.026 earlier in the session.

Prices climbed 4.4 cents, or almost 1.5%, on Friday, but still lost about 3.6% for the week.

Gas futures often reach a seasonal low in late October and early November, when mild weather weakens demand, before recovering in the winter, when heating-fuel use peaks.

The heating season from November through March is the peak demand period for U.S. gas consumption.

Meanwhile, market participants looked ahead to this week’s storage data due on Wednesday, which is expected to show a draw in a range between 43 and 53 billion cubic feet (bcf) in the week ended Nov. 17.

That compares with a drop of 18 bcf in the preceding week, a fall of 2 bcf a year earlier and a five-year average decline of 26 bcf.

Total natural gas in storage currently stands at 3.772 trillion cubic feet (tcf), according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. That figure is 271 bcf, or around 6.7%, lower than levels at this time a year ago and 101 bcf, or roughly 2.6%, below the five-year average for this time of year.

Analysts estimated the amount of gas in storage would end the April-October injection season at 3.8 tcf due primarily to higher liquefied natural gas shipments abroad. That would fall short of the year-earlier record of 4.0 tcf and the five-year average of 3.9 tcf.