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Natural gas prices rise as investors brace for supply data

CommoditiesSep 17, 2013 11:32AM ET
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This article has already been saved in your Saved Items - Natural gas prices rose on Tuesday as investors bet that supply data will reveal inventories rose less than expected last week, while an increasingly active Atlantic hurricane season sent price rising as well.

Profit taking allowed for choppy trading.

On the New York Mercantile Exchange, natural gas futures for delivery in October traded at USD3.743 per million British thermal units during U.S. trading, up 0.12%.

The October contract settled up 1.66% at USD3.738 per million British thermal units on Monday.

The commodity hit a session low of USD3.721 and a high of USD3.776.

Natural gas prices hit 8-week highs earlier on expectations that warm late-summer temperatures in the U.S. have hiked demand and have taken their toll on the nation's stockpiles.

The government will release official storage data on Thursday, and early injection estimates for this range from 55 billion cubic feet to 68 billion cubic feet, compared to a 61 billion cubic feet increase during the same week a year earlier.

The five-year average for the week is a build of 74 billion cubic feet.

Total U.S. natural gas storage stood at 3.253 trillion cubic feet as of last week, 1.4% above the five-year average for the same week and 5% below last year's unusually high level.

Elsewhere, Tropical Storm Ingrid roared ashore causing heavy rains in Mexico, though another weather system forecast to move into southern Gulf of Mexico stood a 50% chance of developing into a tropical cyclone in five days, the National Hurricane Center reported earlier.

Tropical weather systems often disrupt production by prompting gas rig operators to evacuate offshore facilities.

The Gulf of Mexico is home to 10% of U.S. natural gas production.

Profit taking kicked in at times allowing for choppy trading, especially after weather forecasts pointed to mild temperatures across a good portion of the eastern U.S. for the rest of this month.

An absence of hot or cold temperatures prompted some to sell natural gas for profits on sentiments that demand will wane at the country's power plants due to a reduce demand for heating or air conditioning in the country's homes and offices.

Elsewhere on the NYMEX, light sweet crude oil futures for delivery in November were down 1.00% and trading at USD105.13 a barrel, while heating oil for October delivery were down 1.93% and trading at USD3.0046 per gallon.

Natural gas prices rise as investors brace for supply data

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