Investing.com - Natural gas futures ended Friday's session at a
five-week low, as forecasts showing mild weather for the rest of
May weighed on demand expectations for the fuel, while Thursday's
release of a bearish U.S. supply report also added to the selling
On the New York Mercantile Exchange, natural gas futures for
delivery in June tumbled 2% on Friday to settle the week at
USD3.902 per million British thermal units.
Earlier in the session, Nymex gas prices fell to a session low of
USD3.901 per million British thermal units, the weakest level since
The June contract lost 3.65% on the week, the third consecutive
Updated weather forecasting models pointed to mild temperatures
sticking around for much of the U.S. in the coming weeks,
indicating that heating and cooling demand will be very low for the
next couple of weeks.
Gas use usually hits a seasonal low with spring's mild
temperatures, before warmer weather increases demand for gas-fired
electricity generation to power air conditioning.
Sentiment on the commodity remained downbeat following Thursday's
bearish U.S. supply report, which showed that natural gas storage
in the U.S. rose by 88 billion cubic feet, above expectations for
an increase of 83 billion cubic feet.
Inventories rose by 30 billion cubic feet in the same week a year
earlier, while the five-year average change for the week is a rise
of 69 billion cubic feet.
Total U.S. natural gas storage stood at 1.865 trillion cubic feet
as of last week, 5% below the five-year average for this time of
Early injection estimates for this week's storage data range from
87 billion cubic feet to 108 billion cubic feet, compared to a more
modest 56 billion cubic feet increase during the same week a year
The five-year average for the week is a build of 83 billion cubic
Typically this time of year, stockpiles begin to climb as milder
spring temperatures curb demand for natural gas.
Nymex gas prices have risen sharply in recent weeks, gaining almost
30% since mid-February, boosted by calls for colder temperatures in
major consuming regions across the U.S. that helped tighten the
Gas futures rose to a 21-month high of USD4.442 per million British
thermal units on May 1.
But prices have lost 12% since then, with some analysts warning of
further losses with spring's low-demand shoulder season looming.
Elsewhere in the energy complex, light sweet crude oil futures for
June delivery settled at USD95.94 a barrel by close of trade on
Friday, adding 0.5% on the week.
Meanwhile, heating oil for June delivery advanced 0.7% over the
week to settle at USD2.879 per gallon by close of trade Friday.
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