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Natural gas futures extend warm-weather rally; trade above $4.00

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Shutterstock photo - - U.S. natural gas futures extended gains to trade above the key $4.00-level on Tuesday, as weather patterns called for warmer summer temperatures across much of the U.S. later this week.

On the New York Mercantile Exchange, natural gas for delivery in September rose to a session high of $4.020 per million British thermal units, the most since July 17, before trimming gains to last trade at $3.990 during U.S. morning hours, up 0.62%, or 2.5 cents,

A day earlier, natural gas futures rose 0.08%, or 0.3 cents, to end at $3.965 per million British thermal units.

Futures were likely to find support at $3.858 per million British thermal units, the low from August 7 and resistance at $4.110, the high from July 17.

Updated weather-forecasting models predicted a heat wave to move across the eastern U.S. from August 18 to August 22, which should hike demand for air conditioning.

Demand for natural gas tends to fluctuate in the summer based on hot weather and air conditioning use.

Meanwhile, the U.S. Energy Information Administration said in its weekly report on August 7 that natural gas storage in the U.S. rose by 82 billion cubic feet last week.

The number was below expectations for an increase of 84 billion cubic feet, but higher than the five-year average change for the week of an increase of 49 billion cubic feet.

Injections of gas into storage have surpassed the five-year average for 16 consecutive weeks, alleviating concerns over tightening supplies.

Total U.S. natural gas storage stood at 2.389 trillion cubic feet as of last week, narrowing the deficit to the five-year average to 20% from 21.7% a week earlier and down from a record 54.7% at the end of March.

The EIA's next storage report is slated for release on Thursday, August 14, with analysts expecting a build of 85 billion cubic feet for the week ending August 8.

Inventories rose by 70 billion cubic feet in the same week a year earlier, while the five-year average change is a build of 45 billion cubic feet.

Elsewhere on the Nymex, crude oil for delivery in September slumped 0.89%, or 88 cents, to trade at $97.21 a barrel, while heating oil for September delivery dipped 0.63% to trade at $2.861 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 Nasdaq, Inc.

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