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Natural Gas rally wanes as forecasts call for East Coast warming trend

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Investing.com - Natural gas futures slid in choppy trading on Tuesday, as a recent rally began to wane after weather forecasts pointed to a warming trend settling over the heavily populated central and eastern swathes of the U.S.

Warmer weather cuts into demand for heating in the nation's households and businesses and sends natural gas prices falling.

On the New York Mercantile Exchange, natural gas futures for delivery in April traded at USD3.635 per million British thermal units, down 0.40%.

The commodity hit a session low of USD3.620 and a high of USD3.675.

Weather services predicted normal temperatures to settle into the East Coast U.S. through the end of March, with some calling for warmer-than-normal thermometer readings.

The reports began to chip away at a rally that sent natural gas gaining due to unseasonably cold weather patterns that have gripped the country for much of February and March.

However, supply data released late last week continued to support natural gas.

On Thursday, the U.S. Energy Information Administration said in its weekly report that natural gas storage in the week ending March 1 fell by 146 billion cubic feet, well beyond market expectations for a drop of 134 billion cubic feet.

Inventories fell by 92 billion cubic feet in the same week a year earlier, while the five-year average change for the week represented a decline of 107 billion cubic feet.

Total U.S. natural gas storage stood at 2.083 trillion cubic feet as of last week. Stocks were 361 billion cubic feet less than last year at this time and 269 billion cubic feet above the five-year average of 1.814 trillion cubic feet for this time of year.

The report showed that in the East Region, stocks were 73 billion cubic feet above the five-year average, following net withdrawals of 77 billion cubic feet.

Stocks in the Producing Region were 123 billion cubic feet above the five-year average of 694 billion cubic feet after a net withdrawal of 58 billion cubic feet.

Elsewhere on the NYMEX, light sweet crude oil futures for delivery in April were up 0.81% and trading at USD92.81 a barrel, while heating oil for April delivery were down 0.52% and trading at USD2.9537 per gallon.

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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