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U.S. natural gas falls to 1-week low on bets for bearish storage data

CommoditiesJan 18, 2017 09:01AM ET
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© Reuters. U.S. natural gas falls to 1-week low

Investing.com - U.S. natural gas futures declined for the second day in a row on Wednesday, falling toward a one-week low as weather forecasts for the end of January turned warmer, which should dampen demand for the heating fuel.

Weather models initially predicted colder temperatures throughout most parts of the U.S. during the period.

Natural gas markets have been volatile in recent weeks, changing course rapidly in response to shifting outlooks in short-term weather patterns.

Prices typically rise during the winter as colder weather sparks indoor-heating demand. About half of U.S. homes use natural gas for heating.

Natural gas for February delivery on the New York Mercantile Exchange dropped nearly 3% to a session low of $3.310 per million British thermal units, a level not seen since January 12.

It was last at $3.320 by 9:00AM ET (14:00GMT), down 9.2 cents, or around 2.7%, after dipping 0.7 cents, or 0.2%, the day before.

Meanwhile, market participants looked ahead to weekly storage data due on Thursday, which is expected to show a draw in a range between 220 and 230 billion cubic feet in the week ended January 13.

That compares with a withdrawal of 151 billion cubic feet in the preceding week, 178 billion a year earlier and a five-year average drop of 170 billion cubic feet.

Total natural gas in storage currently stands at 3.160 trillion cubic feet, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, 10.3% lower than levels at this time a year ago and around 0.1% below the five-year average for this time of year.

U.S. natural gas falls to 1-week low on bets for bearish storage data
 

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