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U.S. natural gas spikes 5% on bets for massive supply withdrawal

Commodities Dec 21, 2016 08:46AM ET
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Investing.com - U.S. natural gas futures snapped a five-session losing streak on Wednesday, as investors bid up prices on expectations of a massive U.S. inventory draw.

Natural gas for January delivery on the New York Mercantile Exchange jumped 18.1 cents, or 5.5%, to $3.445 per million British thermal units by 8:45AM ET (13:45GMT).

Market participants awaited weekly supply data due on Thursday, which is expected to show a draw in a range between 197 and 210 billion cubic feet in the week ended December 16.

If confirmed it will be the biggest withdrawal for the week since 2010.

That compares with a decline of 147 billion cubic feet in the preceding week, 32 billion a year earlier and a five-year average drop of 101 billion cubic feet.

Total natural gas in storage currently stands at 3.806 trillion cubic feet, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, 1.3% lower than levels at this time a year ago and 4.9% above the five-year average for this time of year.

Futures slumped to a three-week low of $3.242 a day earlier as forecasts for less cold weather and lighter heating demand through the end of the year dragged down prices.

About half of U.S. homes use natural gas for heating.

U.S. natural gas spikes 5% on bets for massive supply withdrawal
 

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