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U.S. natural gas surges 4% after bullish storage data

Investing.com -

Investing.com - U.S. natural gas futures rose for the fourth day in a row on Thursday, hitting a more than one-week high after data showed that natural gas supplies in storage in the U.S. fell more than expected last week.

Natural gas for March delivery on the New York Mercantile Exchange rallied 13.0 cents, or about 3.9%, to $3.474 per million British thermal units by 10:35AM ET (15:35GMT), after rising 5.1 cents, or 1.6%, a day earlier.

Futures were at around $3.458 prior to the release of the supply data after climbing to a session high of $3.492 in the immediate aftermath of the storage report, a level not seen since January 17.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration said in its weekly report that natural gas storage in the U.S. declined by 119 billion cubic feet in the week ended January 20, exceeding market expectations for a drop of 117 billion cubic feet.

That compared with a withdrawal of 243 billion cubic feet in the preceding week, 211 billion a year earlier and a five-year average drop of 176 billion cubic feet.

Total natural gas in storage currently stands at 2.798 trillion cubic feet, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, 11.1% lower than levels at this time a year ago and less than 1% below the five-year average for this time of year.

Meanwhile, a colder system will sweep across the central and eastern U.S. later this week to finally end the current mild spell as overnight lows drop below freezing across all but the far southern U.S.

Extended models pointed to colder conditions from January 31 through February 3, maintaining near to stronger than normal natural gas demand.

Weather models initially predicted mild temperatures throughout most parts of the U.S. during the period.

Natural gas markets have been volatile in recent weeks, changing course rapidly in response to shifting outlooks in short-term weather patterns.

Prices typically rise during the winter as colder weather sparks indoor-heating demand. About half of U.S. homes use natural gas for heating.

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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.


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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