Investing.com - Natural gas futures lost 2% on Friday, as market players continued to focus on rising inventory levels amid an uncertain demand outlook.
On the New York Mercantile Exchange, natural gas futures for delivery in August fell 2% on Friday to settle the week at USD3.615 per million British thermal units.
Earlier in the day, Nymex gas prices fell to a session low of USD3.578 per million British thermal units.
Despite Friday's downbeat performance, natural gas prices rose 1.3% on the week, the first weekly advance in two weeks.
Sentiment on the commodity remained downbeat following Wednesday's U.S. supply report, which showed that natural gas storage in the U.S. rose by 72 billion cubic feet, slightly below market expectations for an increase of 75 billion.
Inventories rose by 95 billion cubic feet in the same week a year earlier, while the five-year average for the week is a build of 71 billion cubic feet.
Total U.S. natural gas storage stood at 2.605 trillion cubic feet as of last week, just 1.1% below the five-year average and 16% below last year's level.
Early injection estimates for this week's storage data range from 82 billion cubic feet to 102 billion cubic feet, compared to a 34 billion cubic feet increase during the same week a year earlier.
The five-year average for the week is a build of 71 billion cubic feet.
Meanwhile, weather forecasting models pointed to mild temperatures across most parts of the U.S. for July and early-August, dampening near-term demand expectations for the fuel.
"The Midwest, Mid-Atlantic, and South to Southeast are mainly seasonal to cool, and this extends now into the first week of August," the Commodity Weather Group said in its daily outlook Friday.
Demand for natural gas tends to fluctuate in the summer based on hot weather and air conditioning use.
Elsewhere in the energy complex, light sweet crude oil futures for August delivery settled at USD103.48 a barrel by close of trade on Friday, adding 6.9% on the week.
Meanwhile, heating oil for August delivery tacked on 4.5% over the week to settle at USD2.994 per gallon by close of trade Friday.
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