Investing.com - Natural gas prices dropped by more than 4% on Thursday after official U.S. inventory data revealed the country's stockpiles shot up way more than expected last week.
In the New York Mercantile Exchange, natural gas futures for delivery in August traded at USD3.578 per million British thermal units, down 4.25%.
The commodity hit a session low of USD3.565 and a high of USD3.754.
The U.S. Energy Information Administration said in its weekly report that natural gas storage in the U.S. in the week ended June 21 rose by 95 billion cubic feet, above expectations for an increase of 88 billion.
Inventories rose by 58 billion cubic feet in the same week a year earlier, while the five-year average change for the week is a rise of 79 billion cubic feet.
Total U.S. natural gas storage stood at 2.533 trillion cubic feet as of last week. Stocks were 522 billion cubic feet less than last year at this time and 31 billion cubic feet below the five-year average of 2.564 trillion cubic feet for this time of year.
The report showed that in the East Region, stocks were 89 billion cubic feet below the five-year average, following net injections of 58 billion cubic feet.
Stocks in the Producing Region were 13 billion cubic feet above the five-year average of 944 billion cubic feet after a net injection of 24 billion cubic feet.
Meanwhile, weather forecasting models called for below-normal temperatures in pockets of the eastern U.S., which pushed down prices further.
Mild summer temperatures cut into the need for gas-fired electricity to cool homes and dampen demand for natural gas, though forecasts for a quick return to seasonably warm temperatures sent prices rising further.
Industry weather group MDA Weather Services said earlier that it expected normal or below-seasonal temperatures to spread across portions of the eastern half of the nation during the next six-to-15-days.
Elsewhere on the NYMEX, light sweet crude oil futures for delivery in August were up 1.77% and trading at USD97.19 a barrel, while heating oil futures for August delivery were up 1.32% at USD2.8927 per gallon.
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