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Natural Gas dips on profit taking after weather rally wanes

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Shutterstock photo - Natural gas futures dipped in afternoon trading on Monday after investors sold the commodity for profits earned from weather reports calling for below-normal temperatures.

On the New York Mercantile Exchange, natural gas futures for delivery in May traded at USD4.082 per million British thermal units, down 1.05%.

The commodity hit a session low of USD4.046 and a high of USD4.178.

Weather services began predicting late last week that colder-than-normal temperatures will return to the northern and central reaches of the country in the coming days and push up demand for heating, which sent prices rising to levels ripe for profit taking.

Elsewhere, warmer-than-normal temperatures settling in over the southeastern U.S. should prompt more households and businesses to run up their air conditioners and demand more natural gas as well.

Goldman Sachs, meanwhile, hiked its price estimate for this year by USD0.65 to an average USD4.40 per million British thermal units due to abnormally cold weather in March, which fueled the rally as well, though profit taking kicked in by Monday afternoon.

Investors were looking forward to supply data due for release on Thursday.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration said last week that natural gas storage fell by 94 billion cubic feet, more or less in line with market calls for a drop of 91 billion cubic feet.

The drawdown did see total U.S. natural gas storage fall to 1.687 trillion cubic feet, 32% lower than last year at this time and 2.1% below the five-year average.

Gas inventories had held above the five-year average since September 2011.

Early withdrawal estimates for this week's storage data range from 20 billion cubic feet to 36 billion cubic feet.

Inventories rose by 11 billion cubic feet in the same week a year earlier, while the five-year average change for the week is a rise of 15 billion cubic feet.

U.S. Elsewhere on the NYMEX, light sweet crude oil futures for delivery in May were up 0.77% and trading at USD93.41 a barrel, while heating oil futures for May delivery were down 1.59% at USD2.9561 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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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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