Investing.com - U.S. natural gas futures rallied to the highest level in more than two-weeks on Tuesday, as updated weather forecasting models continued to point to increased summer demand in the coming weeks.
U.S. natural gas for August delivery was at $3.091 per million British thermal units by 9:15AM ET (1315GMT), up 7.1 cents, or around 2.4%, after touching $3.094 earlier in the session, a level not seen since June 30.
Prices notched their second straight session of gains on Monday amid bullish weather forecasts.
Hot high pressure over the western, central, and southern U.S. will strengthen and expand as the week progresses, eventually dominating almost the entire country besides the far northern U.S. with highs of upper 80s to 100s for strong national demand.
Longer-term models showed the western, central and southern U.S. will be hot with highs of upper 80s to 100s through August 1, due to strong high pressure.
Natural gas prices have closely tracked weather forecasts in recent weeks, as traders try to gauge the impact of shifting outlooks on summer cooling demand.
Nearly 50% of all U.S. households use gas for cooling.
Total natural gas in storage currently stands at 2.945 trillion cubic feet, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, 8.9% lower than levels at this time a year ago but 5.9% above the five-year average for this time of year.
Market participants looked ahead to weekly storage data due on Thursday, which is expected to show a build in a range between 27 and 38 billion cubic feet in the week ended July 14.
That compares with a gain of 57 billion cubic feet in the preceding week, an increase of 34 billion a year earlier and a five-year average rise of 59 billion cubic feet.
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