MTECHTIPS;-U.S. natural gas slides 3% amid warmer weather

MTECHTIPS;-U.S. natural gas slides 3% amid warmer weather

MTECHTIPS- U.S. natural gas futures declined on Monday, starting the week off with heavy losses as forecasts showing cold weather receding in key regions in the U.S. during the next few weeks dampened demand for the heating fuel. Natural gas for March delivery on the New York Mercantile Exchange slumped 8.9 cents, or around 2.7%, to $3.268 per million British thermal units by 8:40 AM ET (13:40 GMT).Natural gas markets have been volatile in recent weeks, changing course rapidly in response to shifting outlooks in short-term weather patterns. Prices typically rise during the winter as colder weather sparks indoor-heating demand. 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 83 and 94 billion cubic feet in the week ended January 27. That compares with a withdrawal of 119 billion cubic feet in the preceding week, 152 billion a year earlier and a five-year average drop of 166 billion cubic feet. Total natural gas in storage currently stands at 2.798 trillion cubic feet, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, 11.1% lower than levels at this time a year ago and less than 1% below the five-year average for this time of year

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