MTECHTIPS;-U.S. natural gas extends rebound as forecasts point to

MTECHTIPS;-U.S. natural gas extends rebound as forecasts point to cold February

MTECHTIPS-U.S. natural gas futures rallied on Tuesday, extending a bounce off a two-week low as weather forecasts turned colder, boosting near-term demand for the heating fuel. Natural gas for February delivery on the New York Mercantile Exchange jumped 9.1 cents, or about 2.8%, to $3.334 per million British thermal units by 8:45 AM ET (13:45 GMT). The front-month contract slid to a two-week low of $3.145 on Monday, before turning higher to end up 3.9 cents, or around 1.2%, at $3.243. Meanwhile, the more-actively traded March contract was up 8.9 cents, or 2.7%, at $3.346. A colder system will sweep across the central and eastern U.S. later this week to finally end the current mild spell as overnight lows drop below freezing across all but the far southern U.S. Extended models pointed to colder conditions from January 31 through February 3, maintaining near to stronger than normal natural gas demand. Weather models initially predicted mild temperatures throughout most parts of the U.S. during the period. Natural gas markets have been volatile in recent weeks, changing course rapidly in response to shifting outlooks in short-term weather patterns