Investing.com - Natural gas prices took a nose dive towards three-month lows in U.S. trading on Thursday after official data revealed U.S. stockpiles shot up way past expectations last week.
In the New York Mercantile Exchange, natural gas futures for delivery in July traded at USD3.838 per million British thermal units, down 4.09%.
The commodity hit a session low of USD3.834 and a high of USD4.002.
The U.S. Energy Information Administration said in its weekly report that natural gas storage in the U.S. in the week ended May 31 rose by 111 billion cubic feet, well above market expectations for an increase of 95 billion.
Inventories rose by 72 billion cubic feet in the same week a year earlier, while the five-year average change for the week is a rise of 92 billion cubic feet.
Total U.S. natural gas storage stood at 2.252 trillion cubic feet as of last week. Stocks were 616 billion cubic feet less than last year at this time and 69 billion cubic feet below the five-year average of 2.321 trillion cubic feet for this time of year.
The report showed that in the East Region, stocks were 106 billion cubic feet below the five-year average, following net injections of 58 billion cubic feet.
Stocks in the Producing Region were 10 billion cubic feet below the five-year average of 898 billion cubic feet after a net injection of 37 billion cubic feet.
Weather forecasts fueled the selloff even more.
While temperatures are expected to run above-normal for much of the U.S. over the next several days, forecasts calling for pockets of cooler-than-normal temperatures exacerbated declines.
Higher temperatures send prices rising on sentiments that demand for natural gas will increase at the country's thermal power plants as businesses and households power their air conditioning units, though talk of unseasonably cooler mercury readings can push prices lower.
Elsewhere on the NYMEX, light sweet crude oil futures for delivery in July were up 1.33% and trading at USD94.99 a barrel, while heating oil futures for July delivery were up 0.58% at USD2.8720 per gallon.
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