Investing.com - Natural gas futures rallied sharply on Thursday,
after data showed that U.S. natural gas supplies fell by the most
on record last week.
On the New York Mercantile Exchange, natural gas futures for
delivery in January traded at USD4.379 per million British thermal
units during U.S. morning trade, up 3%. Futures traded at USD4.332
prior to the release of the U.S. Energy Information Administration
Nymex January gas futures rose by as much as 3.35% earlier in the
day to hit a session high of USD4.399, the strongest level since
December 13. The January contract settled down 0.84% on Wednesday
to end at USD4.251 per million British thermal units.
Natural gas futures were likely to find support at USD4.244 per
million British thermal units, the low from December 18 and
resistance at USD4.443, the high from December 13.
The U.S. Energy Information Administration said in its weekly
report that natural gas storage in the U.S. in the week ended
December 13 fell by 285 billion cubic feet, compared to
expectations for a withdrawal of 258 billion cubic feet.
Inventories fell by 70 billion cubic feet in the same week a year
earlier, while the five-year average change for the week is a
decline of 133 billion cubic feet.
Total U.S. natural gas storage stood at 3.248 trillion cubic feet.
Stocks were 488 billion cubic feet less than last year at this time
and 261 billion cubic feet below the five-year average of 3.509
trillion cubic feet for this time of year.
The report showed that in the East Region, stocks were 207 billion
cubic feet below the five-year average, following net withdrawals
of 132 billion cubic feet.
Stocks in the Producing Region were 23 billion cubic feet below the
five-year average of 1.138 billion cubic feet after a net
withdrawal of 99 billion cubic feet.
Meanwhile, market players continued to focus on weather forecasts
to gauge the strength of demand for the fuel.
The U.S. National Weather Service said it expected above-normal
temperatures along the East coast from New York to Florida in the
next six-to-10-days. The agency's eight-to-14-day outlook showed
above-normal temperatures in the western part of the country.
The heating season from November through March is the peak demand
period for U.S. gas consumption.
Elsewhere on the NYMEX, light sweet crude oil futures for delivery
in February added 0.45% to trade at USD98.51 a barrel, while
heating oil for January delivery rose 0.35% to trade at USD3.020
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