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Natural gas prices fall as weather forecasts ease up on heat wave

CommoditiesAug 16, 2013 01:13PM ET
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This article has already been saved in your Saved Items - Natural gas prices dropped on Friday after updated weather forecasting models toned down recent calls for above-normal temperatures for portions of the central and northeastern U.S. and called for pockets of milder temperatures instead.

On the New York Mercantile Exchange, natural gas futures for delivery in September traded at USD3.370 per million British thermal units during U.S. afternoon trading, down 1.45%.

The September contract settled up 2.30% at USD3.419 per million British thermal units on Thursday.

Updated weather forecasting models said below-normal temperatures will push out above-normal mercury readings in portions of the Midwest and in the northeastern U.S. during the last week of August.

Gas prices surged in recent sessions amid reports that a heat wave will stay in place for the rest of August.

Demand for natural gas tends to wane at the country's thermal power plants when temperatures fall, as homes and businesses throttle back their air conditioners.

Meanwhile, investors looked past Thursday's supply report, which sent prices gaining initially.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration said in its weekly report that natural gas storage in the U.S. in the week ended Aug. 9 rose by 65 billion cubic feet, below market expectations for an increase of 70 billion cubic feet.

Inventories rose by 20 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 3.006 trillion cubic feet as of last week. Stocks were 252 billion cubic feet less than last year at this time and 43 billion cubic feet above the five-year average of 2.963 trillion cubic feet for this time of year.

The report showed that in the East Region, stocks were 99 billion cubic feet below the five-year average, following net injections of 51 billion cubic feet.

Stocks in the Producing Region were 86 billion cubic feet above the five-year average of 967 billion cubic feet after a net injection of 4 billion cubic feet.

Elsewhere on the NYMEX, light sweet crude oil futures for delivery in September were down 0.71% and trading at USD106.57 a barrel, while heating oil for September delivery were down 0.22% and trading at USD3.0660 per gallon.

Natural gas prices fall as weather forecasts ease up on heat wave

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