Investing.com - Natural gas futures shot up in afternoon trading on Wednesday, approaching 20-month highs on talk weekly supply data due for release on Thursday will reveal rising demand for the commodity.
On the New York Mercantile Exchange, natural gas futures for delivery in May traded at USD4.093 per million British thermal units, up 1.88%.
The commodity hit a session low of USD4.026 and a high of USD4.160.
The U.S. Department of Energy will release weekly supply data on Thursday, though early withdrawal estimates range from 20 billion cubic feet to 36 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 in storage stood at 1.687 trillion cubic feet as of last week, 32% lower than last year at this time and 2.1% below the five-year average.
Gas inventories had held above the five-year average since September 2011.
Meanwhile, updated weather forecasts called for a return of below-normal temperatures for central portions of the U.S., which pushed up prices even further.
U.S. Elsewhere on the NYMEX, light sweet crude oil futures for delivery in May were up 0.28% and trading at USD94.47 a barrel, while heating oil futures for May delivery were down 0.56% at USD2.9449 per gallon.
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