February 22, 2017

MTECHTIPS:-U.S. natural gas edges lower on bets for bearish storage data

MTECHTIPS- U.S. natural gas futures edged lower on Wednesday, as market players looked ahead to weekly storage data to gauge supply and demand levels. Natural gas for March delivery on the New York Mercantile Exchange declined 2.0 cents, or around 0.7%, to $3.110 per million British thermal units by 9:40 AM ET (14:40 GMT), after gaining 8.0 cents, or 2.6%, a day earlier. Futures slumped to a ten-week low of $3.006 on Monday as forecasts called for mostly warmer-than-normal weather in key regions across the U.S. for the rest of the winter. Prices of the heating fuel are down around 17% so far this year as forecasts for warm winter weather weighed on heating demand expectations. Natural gas markets have been volatile in recent weeks, changing course rapidly in response to shifting outlooks in short-term weather patterns. About half of U.S. homes use natural gas for heating. Meanwhile, market participants looked ahead to weekly storage data due on Thursday, which is expected to show a draw of 155 billion cubic feet in the week ended February 3. That compares with a withdrawal of 87 billion cubic feet in the preceding week, 70 billion a year earlier and a five-year average drop of 138 billion cubic feet.
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