Investing.com - U.S. natural gas futures started the week with strong gains on Monday, as updated weather forecasting models pointed to increased summer demand in the weeks ahead.
U.S. natural gas for August delivery was at $3.010 per million British thermal units by 8:50AM ET (1250GMT), up 3.0 cents, or around 1%.
Prices saw a gain of roughly 4% last week amid bullish weather forecasts.
Natural gas prices have closely tracked weather forecasts in recent weeks, as traders try to gauge the impact of shifting outlooks on summer cooling demand.
Nearly 50% of all U.S. households use gas for cooling.
Total natural gas in storage currently stands at 2.945 trillion cubic feet, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, 8.9% lower than levels at this time a year ago but 5.9% above the five-year average for this time of year.
Market participants looked ahead to weekly storage data due on Thursday, which is expected to show a build in a range between 27 and 38 billion cubic feet in the week ended July 14.
That compares with a gain of 57 billion cubic feet in the preceding week, an increase of 34 billion a year earlier and a five-year average rise of 59 billion cubic feet.
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