Investing.com - U.S. natural gas futures jumped in North America trade on Thursday, after data showed that natural gas supplies in storage in the U.S. fell unexpectedly last week, as a recent heat wave prompted households to ramp up their air conditioning.
Natural gas for delivery in September on the New York Mercantile Exchange rose 2.5 cents, or 0.88%, to trade at $2.864 per million British thermal units by 14:33GMT, or 10:33AM ET. Prices were at around $2.837prior to the release of the supply data.
A day earlier, prices surged 10.6 cents, or 3.88%, as traders placed wagers that this week's storage data would be on the bullish side.
The U.S. Energy Information Administration said in its weekly report that natural gas storage in the U.S. in the week ended July 29 declined by 6 billion cubic feet, compared to forecasts for an increase of 2 billion.
That compared with a build of 17 billion cubic feet in the preceding week, 41 billion a year earlier and a five-year average of 54 billion cubic feet.
Total U.S. natural gas storage stood at 3.288 trillion cubic feet, 11.8% higher than levels at this time a year ago and 14.1% above the five-year average for this time of year.
Meanwhile, updated weather forecasting models pointed to mostly mild weather across most parts of the U.S. in the coming days, underlining the view that higher summer demand for the commodity is coming to an end.
Demand for natural gas tends to rise in the summer months as warmer temperatures increase the need for gas-fired electricity to power air conditioning.
Unless intense summer heat boosts demand from power plants, stockpiles will test physical storage limits of 4.3 trillion cubic feet at the end of October.
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