Investing.com - Natural gas futures dropped on Monday after investors sold the commodity for profits despite forecasts for wintry weather and below-normal temperatures to settle in for much of the central U.S.
On the New York Mercantile Exchange, natural gas futures for delivery in May traded at USD4.141 per million British thermal units, down 1.92%.
The commodity hit a session low of USD4.122 and a high of USD4.290.
Natural gas prices rose late last week on forecasts for a return of colder-than-normal temperatures for the heavily populated eastern half of the U.S., though by Monday, investors sold and locked in profits, especially as fears of a global economic slowdown roiled markets worldwide.
Supply data released Thursday confirmed many suspicions that supplies are tight due to repeated waves of cold snaps sweeping across the U.S. in late winter and early spring, though profit-taking kept prices lower Monday afternoon.
The U.S. Energy Information Administration said in its weekly report on Thursday that natural gas storage in the U.S. in the week ended April 5 fell by 14 billion cubic feet, compared to expectations for a drop of 13 billion cubic feet.
Inventories increased by 11 billion cubic feet in the same week a year earlier, while the five-year average change for the week is a build of 15 billion cubic feet.
Total U.S. natural gas storage stood at 1.673 trillion cubic feet as of last week. Stocks were 804 billion cubic feet less than last year at this time and 66 billion cubic feet below the five-year average of 1.739 trillion cubic feet for this time of year.
The report showed that in the East Region, stocks were 92 billion cubic feet below the five-year average, following net withdrawals of 16 billion cubic feet.
Stocks in the Producing Region were 46 billion cubic feet below the five-year average of 736 billion cubic feet after a net withdrawal of 5 billion cubic feet.
Elsewhere on the NYMEX, light sweet crude oil futures for delivery in June were down 2.81% and trading at USD89.03 a barrel, while heating oil futures for May delivery were down 1.57% at USD2.8267 per gallon.
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