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MTECHTIPS:-Natural gas futures plunge 3% after bearish storage data

MTECHTIPS:-Natural gas futures plunge 3% after bearish storage data

Natural gas futures extended losses on Thursday, after data showed that U.S. natural gas supplies rose more than expected last week. Natural gas for delivery in September on the New York Mercantile Exchange dropped 8.5 cents, or 2.88%, to trade at $2.847 per million British thermal units during U.S. morning hours. Prices were at around $2.912 prior to the release of the supply data. The U.S. Energy Information Administration said in its weekly report that natural gas storage in the U.S. in the week ended August 7 rose by 65 billion cubic feet, above expectations for an increase of 55 billion and following a build of 32 billion cubic feet in the preceding week.Supplies rose by 79 billion cubic feet in the same week last year, while the five-year average change is an increase of 48 billion cubic feet. Total U.S. natural gas storage stood at 2.977 trillion cubic feet as of last week. Stocks were 521 billion cubic feet higher than last year at this time and 81 billion cubic feet above the five-year average of 2.896 trillion cubic feet for this time of year. A day earlier, natural gas rallied to $2.934, the most since July 23, before closing at $2.931, up 8.7 cents, or 3.06%, as forecasts for later this month turned warmer, boosting near-term demand expectations for the heating fuel. Updated weather forecasting models pointed to warmer-than-normal temperatures across many regions, including the east, central and southern U.S., after August 20 and until the end of the month, boosting late-summer cooling demand for the fuel.Forecasts originally called for mostly average summer temperatures during the period.

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