Forex Pros - Last week saw natural gas prices pull back sharply from a ten-month high on Thursday, after the U.S. Energy Information Administration said natural gas inventories rose more-than-expected last week.
On the New York Mercantile Exchange, natural gas futures for delivery in July settled at USD4.753 per million British thermal units by close of trade on Friday, shedding 0.39% over the week.
Natural gas prices plunged nearly 2.5% on Thursday after the U.S. Energy Information Administration said natural gas inventories rose by 80 billion cubic feet last week, above expectations for a buildup of 77 billion cubic feet.
Total U.S. natural gas storage stood at 2.187 trillion cubic feet. Stocks were 255 billion cubic feet less than last year at this time and 58 billion cubic feet below the five-year average of 2.245 trillion cubic feet for this time of year.
But prices rebounded on Friday, climbing 1.8% as the previous day's sharp price drop sparked some bargain buying from traders reluctant to bet that prices would fall further amid forecasts of warmer-than-normal weather across most of the U.S. next week.
The Commodity Weather Group said Friday that it expected above-normal temperatures throughout most of the U.S. Midwest, South and mid-Atlantic regions next week, boosting demand expectations for gas-fired electricity to power air conditioners.
According to weather service provider AccuWeather, the high temperature in New York on June 20 will be 85 degrees Fahrenheit (29 Celsius), five degrees above normal.
Demand for the fuel tends to rise in the summer as warmer temperatures increase the need for electricity to power air conditioning. Natural gas accounts for about a quarter of U.S. electricity generation.
Also Friday, industry research group Baker Hughes said that the number of active rigs drilling for natural gas in the U.S. last week fell for the first time in three weeks, dropping to 879, down by eight from the previous week.
Elsewhere, light sweet crude oil futures for July delivery traded at USD98.85 a barrel by close of trade on Friday, easing up 0.05% over the week, while heating oil for July delivery traded at USD3.095 a gallon, climbing 1.1% over the week.