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Natural gas futures rebound 5% as forecasts turn colder

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January 10th, 2017
U.S. natural gas futures edged higher on Tuesday, rebounding from sharp losses in the prior session as forecasts for the end of January turned colder, boosting demand for the heating fuel.

Weather models initially predicted mild temperatures throughout most parts of the U.S. during the period.

Natural gas for February delivery on the New York Mercantile Exchange jumped as much as 5.4% to a session high of $3.276 per million British thermal units.

It was last at $3.261 by 10:30AM ET (15:30GMT), up 15.8 cents, or around 5.1%, after falling to a seven-week low of $3.098 a day earlier.

Prices of the heating fuel plunged 18.2 cents, or 5.5%, on Monday, as forecasts of mild January weather replaced predictions of severe cold.

Natural-gas markets have been volatile in recent weeks, changing course rapidly in response to shifting outlooks in short-term weather patterns.

About half of U.S. homes use natural gas for heating.

Meanwhile, market participants looked ahead to weekly storage data due on Thursday, which is expected to show a draw in a range between 135 and 143 billion cubic feet in the week ended January 6.

That compares with a withdrawal of 49 billion cubic feet in the preceding week, 168 billion a year earlier and a five-year average drop of 167 billion cubic feet.

Total natural gas in storage currently stands at 3.311 trillion cubic feet, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, 9.9% lower than levels at this time a year ago and less than 1% below the five-year average for this time of year.


See Also: Crude Oil, Natural Gas, Heating Oil, Unleaded Gas, Ethanol, Gasoline Blendstock