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MTECHTIPS:-Natural gas futures jump 2% after bullish storage data

MTECHTIPS:-Natural gas futures jump 2% after bullish storage data

Natural gas futures extended gains on Thursday, after data showed that U.S. natural gas supplies rose less than expected last week. Natural gas for delivery in September on the New York Mercantile Exchange rallied 5.6 cents, or 2.08%, to trade at $2.772 per million British thermal units during U.S. morning hours. Prices were at around $2.728 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 14 rose by 53 billion cubic feet, below expectations for an increase of 58 billion. That compared with builds of 65 billion cubic feet in the prior week, 86 billion cubic feet in the same week last year, while the five-year average change for the week is an increase of 54 billion cubic feet. Total U.S. natural gas storage stood at 3.030 trillion cubic feet as of last week. Stocks were 488 billion cubic feet higher than last year at this time and 80 billion cubic feet above the five-year average of 2.950 trillion cubic feet for this time of year. A day earlier, natural gas prices inched up 1.2 cents, or 0.44%, to close at $2.716 as market players weighed shifting weather forecasts to assess the outlook for U.S. demand and supply levels. Cooler weather was expected across key consumption regions of the U.S. in the week ahead, before a shift to warmer weather pushes readings to above normal across much of Northeast and Midwest towards the end of August.
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