Investing.com - Natural gas prices jumped in and out of positive territory on Friday amid a tug-of-war battle between bearish weather reports calling for below-normal temperatures in the northeastern U.S. with bullish forecasts calling for warming trends in Texas and in the southern U.S. Plains.
On the New York Mercantile Exchange, natural gas futures for delivery in September traded at USD3.278 per million British thermal units during U.S. afternoon trading, down 0.59% in very choppy trading.
The September contract settled up 1.54% at USD3.297 per million British thermal units on Thursday.
Forecasts for above-normal temperatures setting in over Texas and neighboring Plains states sent prices rising earlier, though weather reports calling for an eastern U.S. cool snap to continue erased gains, allowing for hefty swings in afternoon trading.
Demand for natural gas tends to wane amid unseasonably cool weather snaps, as homes and businesses throttle back on their air conditioners.
Investors continued to digest bearish supply data.
The U.S. Energy Information Administration said in its weekly report on Thursday that natural gas storage in the U.S. in the week ending August 2 rose by 96 billion cubic feet, well above market expectations for an increase of 77 billion cubic feet.
Inventories rose by 25 billion cubic feet in the same week a year earlier, while the five-year average change for the week is a build of 42 billion cubic feet.
Total U.S. natural gas storage stood at 2.941 trillion cubic feet as of last week. Stocks were 297 billion cubic feet less than last year at this time and 20 billion cubic feet above the five-year average of 2.921 trillion cubic feet for this time of year.
The report showed that in the East Region, stocks were 105 billion cubic feet below the five-year average, following net injections of 58 billion cubic feet.
Stocks in the Producing Region were 76 billion cubic feet above the five-year average of 973 billion cubic feet after a net injection of 15 billion cubic feet.
Elsewhere on the NYMEX, light sweet crude oil futures for delivery in September were up 1.97% and trading at USD105.44 a barrel, while heating oil futures for September delivery were up 0.59% at USD2.9750 per gallon.