MTECHTIPS:-U.S. natural gas sinks 8% on forecasts for warm January

MTECHTIPS:-U.S. natural gas sinks 8% on forecasts for warm January weather

MTECHTIPS- U.S. natural gas futures sold off in the first trading session of 2017 on Tuesday, as forecasts for warmer weather and lighter heating demand through the first two weeks of January dragged down prices. Natural gas for February delivery on the New York Mercantile Exchange tumbled by as much as 8.6% to a session low of $3.401 per million British thermal units, a level not seen since December 21. It was last at $3.450 by 8:45 AM ET (13:45 GMT), down 27.5 cents, or around 7.4%. The natural gas market was closed on Monday after the New Year’s holiday. Futures tumbled after updated weather forecasting models pointed to above normal temperatures throughout large portions of the southern and eastern U.S. through January 16, dampening demand for the heating fuel. 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 in a range between 72 and 83 billion cubic feet in the week ended December 30. That compares with a withdrawal of 237 billion cubic feet in the preceding week, 131 billion a year earlier and a five-year average drop of 107 billion cubic feet

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