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Natural gas prices off multi-session highs as market prices in weather

Posted: 1/22/2013 4:14:00 PM
Referenced Stocks: - Natural gas futures eased off a six-week high on Tuesday as investors priced in cooler-than-normal temperatures settling in for much of the central and eastern portions of the country.

Talk cold weather won't stick around long enough to spark a more lasting need to heat up homes and businesses allowed the commodity to ease off recent highs.

On the New York Mercantile Exchange, natural gas futures for delivery in February traded at USD3.553 per million British thermal units, down 0.36%.

The commodity hit a session low of USD3.507 and a high of USD3.640.

Weather services continued to forecast cold weather for much of the U.S. though talk warmer temperatures will follow suit in early February allowed natural gas prices to fall amid profit taking.

Natural gas futures are very sensitive to weather reports in the U.S. winter.
The U.S. heating season running from November through March sees peak demand for gas.

About half of U.S. households use gas for heating purposes, according to Energy Department data.

The commodity continued to see support from official data pointing to declining stockpiles.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration said in its weekly report that natural gas storage in the U.S. in the week ended Jan. 11 fell by 148 billion cubic feet compared to market expectations for a decline of 136 billion cubic feet, which took many market participants by surprise.

Inventories fell by 89 billion cubic feet in the same week a year earlier, while the five-year average change for the week is a decline of 144 billion cubic feet.

Total U.S. natural gas storage stood at 3.168 trillion cubic feet as of last week. Stocks were 147 billion cubic feet less than last year at this time and 316 billion cubic feet above the five-year average of 2.852 trillion cubic feet for this time of year.

The report showed that in the East Region, stocks were 92 billion cubic feet above the five-year average, following net withdrawals of 86 billion cubic feet.

Stocks in the Producing Region were 156 billion cubic feet above the five-year average of 957 billion cubic feet, after a net withdrawal of 39 billion cubic feet.

Elsewhere on the NYMEX, light sweet crude oil futures for delivery in March were up 0.67% and trading at USD96.69 a barrel, while heating oil for February delivery were up 0.69% and trading at USD3.0737 per gallon. - offers an extensive set of professional tools for the Forex, Commodities, Futures and the Stock Market including real-time data streaming, a comprehensive economic calendar, as well as financial news and technical & fundamental analysis by in-house experts.
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