Investing.com - Natural gas futures shot up on Friday as weather services reported that cooler temperatures are due to return for a good portion of the U.S. in the coming weeks.
Government reports that supplies are on the decline pushed up prices as well.
On the New York Mercantile Exchange, natural gas futures for delivery in February traded at USD3.333 per million British thermal units, up 4.40%.
The commodity hit a session low of USD3.179 and a high of USD3.337.
In the U.S., MDA Weather Services reported earlier that colder-than-normal temperatures will settle in over the northeastern U.S. and Great Lakes region from Jan. 21 through Jan. 25.
The news sent natural gas prices soaring on sentiments businesses and households will turn up the heat as temperatures fall, demanding more of the commodity in the process.
Falling supplies pushed up prices as well.
The U.S. Energy Information Administration said in its weekly report that natural gas storage in the U.S. in the week ended Jan. 4 fell by 201 billion cubic feet, compared to expectations for a decline of 186 billion cubic feet.
Inventories fell by 95 billion cubic feet in the same week a year earlier, while the five-year average change for the week represented a decline of 149 billion cubic feet.
Total U.S. natural gas storage stood at 3.316 trillion cubic feet as of last week. Stocks were 88 billion cubic feet less than last year at this time and 320 billion cubic feet above the five-year average of 2.996 trillion cubic feet for this time of year.
The report showed that in the East Region, stocks were 93 billion cubic feet above the five-year average, following net withdrawals of 113 billion cubic feet.
Stocks in the Producing Region were 156 billion cubic feet above the five-year average of 996 billion cubic feet, after a net withdrawal of 61billion cubic feet.
Elsewhere on the NYMEX, light sweet crude oil futures for delivery in February were down 0.25% and trading at USD93.58 a barrel, while heating oil for February delivery were down 1.49% and trading at USD3.0088 per gallon.
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