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Natural gas futures fall to session lows after weekly storage data

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May 4th, 2017

U.S. natural gas futures added to losses on Thursday, falling to the lowest levels of the session after data showed that natural gas supplies in storage in the U.S. rose more than expected last week.

U.S. natural gas for June delivery slipped 3.3 cents, or about 1%, to $3.196 per million British thermal units by 10:35AM ET (14:35GMT). Futures were at around $3.220 prior to the release of the supply data.

Prices of the heating fuel rose 3.3 cents on Wednesday as traders reacted to cooler weather forecasts in the Midwest region.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration said in its weekly report that natural gas storage in the U.S. rose by 67 billion cubic feet in the week ended April 28, disappointing forecasts for a build of 61 billion.

That compared with a gain of 74 billion cubic feet in the preceding week, an increase of 68 billion a year earlier and a five-year average rise of 63 billion cubic feet.

Total natural gas in storage currently stands at 2.256 trillion cubic feet, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, 13.7% lower than levels at this time a year ago but 13.4% above the five-year average for this time of year.

Meanwhile, a strong spring storm tracking through the southeastern U.S. with heavy showers and thunderstorms will push across the Great Lakes and Northeast this weekend into early next week to keep below normal temperatures in place.

Overall, natural gas demand will be slightly stronger than normal well into next week, according to forecasters at NatGasWeather.com.

Natural gas prices have closely tracked weather forecasts in recent weeks, as traders try to gauge the impact of shifting outlooks on spring demand.

Gas use typically hits a seasonal low with spring's mild temperatures, before warmer weather increases demand for gas-fired electricity generation to power air conditioning.

Nearly 50% of all U.S. households use gas for heating.

 - Investing.com.

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