Natural gas futures - weekly outlook: March 10 - 14


Shutterstock photo - - U.S. natural gas futures declined on Friday, amid concerns that the arrival of spring will bring warmer temperatures throughout the U.S. and cut into demand for heating.

Spring and fall see the weakest demand for natural gas in the U.S, as the absence of extreme temperatures curbs demand for heating and air conditioning.

The heating season from November through March is the peak demand period for U.S. gas consumption. Approximately 52% of U.S. households use natural gas for heating, according to the Energy Department.

On the New York Mercantile Exchange, natural gas futures for delivery in April fell 0.94%, or 0.044 cents, on Friday to close the week at $4.618 per million British thermal units.

The April contract rallied 3.07%, or $0.139 cents, on Thursday to settle at $4.662 per million British thermal units on Thursday.

Futures were likely to find support at $4.463 per million British thermal units, the low from March 3 and resistance at $4.736, the high from March 3.

On the week, Nymex natural gas prices inched up 0.19%, or $0.009 cents.

Prices rallied on Thursday after weekly supply data showed that natural gas storage in the U.S. fell by 152 billion cubic feet last week, compared to expectations for a decline of 138 billion cubic feet.

Total U.S. natural gas storage stood at 1.196 trillion cubic feet, the lowest for this time of year since 2004.

Natural gas rallied to a more than five-year high of $6.493 per million British thermal units on February 20 as frigid winter temperatures in the U.S. led households to burn a higher than normal amount of the fuel in furnaces to heat their homes.

Approximately 52% of U.S. households use natural gas for heating, according to the Energy Department.

Data from the Commodities Futures Trading Commission released Friday showed that hedge funds and money managers reduced their bullish bets in natural gas futures in the week ending March 4.

Net longs totaled 152,182 contracts, down 11% from net longs of 170,972 in the previous week.

Elsewhere in the energy complex, light sweet crude oil futures for April delivery settled at $102.58 a barrel by close of trade on Friday, little changed on the week.

Meanwhile, heating oil for April delivery lost 1.38% on the week to settle at $2.980 per gallon by close of trade Friday. offers an extensive set of professional tools for the financial markets.
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This article appears in: Investing Forex and Currencies
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