Investing.com - U.S. natural gas futures rallied more than 2% on Friday, 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 hit a daily high of $3.975 per million British thermal units, before settling at $3.962 by close of trade, up 2.22%, or 8.6 cents.
Futures were likely to find support at $3.761 per million British thermal units, the low from August 4 and resistance at $4.110, the high from July 17.
On the week, Nymex natural gas prices surged 4.45%, or 17.7 cents, the biggest weekly gain since February.
Updated weather-forecasting models predicted a heat wave to trek 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.
Natural gas futures lost almost 1.5% on Thursday after the U.S. Energy Information Administration said that natural gas storage in the U.S. rose by 82 billion cubic feet last week, above the five-year average gain for the week 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.
Data from the Commodities Futures Trading Commission released Friday showed that hedge funds and money managers significantly decreased their bullish bets in natural gas futures in the week ending August 5.
Net longs totaled 1,362 contracts, down 91.5% from net longs of 16,060 in the previous week.
Elsewhere on the Nymex, crude oil for September delivery settled at $97.65 a barrel by close of trade on Friday, down 0.23%, or 23 cents, on the week.
Meanwhile, heating oil for September delivery inched up 0.2% on the week to settle at $2.872 per gallon by close of trade Friday.
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