Natural gas holds gains on forecasts for below-normal U.S. temperatures

A A A - Natural gas prices extended Friday's gains into Monday after updated weather forecasts continued to call for below-normal temperatures across parts of the eastern half of the U.S. over the coming days.

On the New York Mercantile Exchange, natural gas futures for delivery in December traded at USD3.679 per million British thermal units during U.S. trading, up 0.51%.

The commodity hit a session low of USD3.654 and a high of USD3.705.

The December contract settled up 1.53% at USD3.660 per million British thermal units on Friday.

Futures were likely to find support at USD3.491 per million British thermal units, Thursday's low, and resistance at USD3.787, the high from Oct. 27.

Updated weather forecasting models called for below-normal temperatures to settle in across parts of the eastern half of the U.S. during the next ten days.

Forecasts originally called for mild weather during the period, and the chillier forecasts allowed natural gas prices to rise.

Colder temperatures hike the need for heating this time of year, increasing demand for natural gas at the nation's thermal power generators.

Cool air will give way to brief warming trends in parts of the central and eastern U.S. before a fresh blast of arctic air comes racing in from Canada, according to, though doubts as to how far south the system will dip moderated price gains somewhat.

Meanwhile, U.S. supply levels also remained in focus. Total U.S. natural gas storage stood at 3.834 trillion cubic feet as last week, 2% below last year's unusually high level but 1.5% above the five-year average for this time of year.

Early withdrawal estimates for this week's storage data range from 15 billion cubic feet to 41 billion cubic feet, compared to a 36 billion cubic feet draw during the same week a year earlier.

The five-year average change for the week is a decline of 2 billion cubic feet.

Elsewhere on the NYMEX, light sweet crude oil futures for delivery in January were down 0.59% and trading at USD93.94 a barrel, while heating oil for December delivery were down 0.58% and trading at USD2.9218 per gallon. offers an extensive set of professional tools for the financial markets.
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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of The NASDAQ OMX Group, Inc.

This article appears in: Investing , Forex and Currencies

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