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MTECHTIPS:-U.S. natural gas futures inch up as market awaits storage report

MTECHTIPS:-U.S. natural gas futures inch up as market awaits storage report

U.S. natural gas futures edged higher on Wednesday, as market participants looked ahead to fresh weekly information on U.S. gas inventories to gauge the strength of demand for the fuel. Natural gas for delivery in October on the New York Mercantile Exchange tacked on 0.9 cents, or 0.32%, to trade at $2.704 per million British thermal units during U.S. morning hours. A day earlier, natural gas prices rose 3.9 cents, or 1.47%, to end at $2.695, after updated weather forecasting models showed that most parts of the southern and western U.S. will be engulfed by hot temperatures in the coming days. However, cooler weather was expected across most parts of the Great Lakes, Northeast and Midwest-regions as the week progresses. Demand for natural gas tends to fluctuate in the summer based on hot weather and air conditioning use. Natural gas accounts for about a quarter of U.S. electricity generation. The U.S. Energy Information Administration’s next storage report due on Thursday is expected to show a build of approximately 60 billion cubic feet for the week ending August 21. That compares with builds of 53 billion cubic feet in the prior week, 77 billion cubic feet in the same week last year, while the five-year average change for the week was an increase of 61 billion cubic feet. Natural gas storage stood at 3.030 trillion cubic feet as of last week, 19.2% higher than during the same week a year earlier and 2.7% above the five-year average for this time of year.

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