Investing.com - Natural gas futures sold off Friday, after rallying to the highest level since December 2011 earlier, after a report from the U.S. Energy Information Administration showed U.S. gas supplies rose less-than-expected last week.
On the New York Mercantile Exchange, natural gas futures for delivery in November traded at USD3.578 per million British thermal units during U.S. morning trade slipping 0.76%.
Profit takers hit natural gas after the U.S. Energy Information Administration said in its weekly report that natural gas storage in the U.S. in the week ended October 5 rose by 72 billion cubic feet, below market expectations for an increase of 77 billion cubic feet.
Inventories rose by 108 billion cubic feet in the same week a year earlier, while the five-year average change for the week is an increase of 84 billion cubic feet, according to U.S. Energy Department data.
Total U.S. natural gas storage stood at 3.725 trillion cubic feet as of last week. Stocks were 236 billion cubic feet higher than last year at this time and 269 billion cubic feet above the five-year average of 3.456 trillion cubic feet for this time of year.
U.S. natural gas stocks peaked at a record 3.852 trillion cubic feet in November of last year.
The report showed that in the East Region, stocks were 67 billion cubic feet above the five-year average, following a net injection of 42 billion cubic feet.
Stocks in the Producing Region were 160 billion cubic feet above the five-year average of 1.047 billion cubic feet, after a net injection of 27 billion cubic feet.
Meanwhile, market players continued to monitor updated weather forecasts to gauge the strength of early-Autumn heating demand.
Updated weather forecasts released Wednesday showed that weather models for the next 11-to-15 days were cooler than initially expected, boosting early-Autumn heating demand for natural gas.
Weather forecasters had previously called for warmer-than-normal temperatures during the period.
Natural gas futures often reach a seasonal low in October, when mild weather reduces demand, before recovering in the winter, when heating-fuel use peaks.
Elsewhere on the NYMEX, light sweet crude oil futures for delivery in November fell 0.34% to 91.76.