Investing.com - Natural gas futures rose on Friday after weather forecasts predicted warmer temperatures to return next month though a little later than once thought.
On the New York Mercantile Exchange, natural gas futures for delivery in February traded at USD3.454 per million British thermal units, up 0.25%.
The commodity hit a session low of USD3.413 and a high of USD3.479.
In the U.S. earlier, MDA Weather Services predicted colder-than-normal temperatures to stick around through Feb. 8, diverging from earlier forecasts for a warming trend to return at that time.
Natural gas futures are very sensitive to weather reports in the U.S. winter.
The U.S. heating season running from November through March sees peak demand for gas.
About half of U.S. households use gas for heating purposes, according to Energy Department data.
Prices still rose on the U.S. Energy Information Administration's Thursday announcement that storage in the U.S. in the week ended Jan. 18 fell by 172 billion cubic feet, in line with market expectations.
Inventories fell by 162 billion cubic feet in the same week a year earlier, while the five-year average change for the week is a decline of 176 billion cubic feet.
Total U.S. natural gas storage stood at 2.996 trillion cubic feet as of last week. Stocks were 157 billion cubic feet less than last year at this time and 320 billion cubic feet above the five-year average of 2.676 trillion cubic feet for this time of year.
The report showed that in the East Region, stocks were 118 billion cubic feet above the five-year average, following net withdrawals of 80 billion cubic feet.
Stocks in the Producing Region were 154 billion cubic feet above the five-year average of 906 billion cubic feet, after a net withdrawal of 53 billion cubic feet.
Elsewhere on the NYMEX, light sweet crude oil futures for delivery in March were down 0.11% and trading at USD95.84 a barrel, while heating oil for February delivery were down 0.81% and trading at USD3.0615 per gallon.