MTECHTIPS:-U.S. natural gas sinks to 3-week lows

MTECHTIPS:-U.S. natural gas sinks to 3-week lows

U.S. natural gas futures were down for the third session in a row on Tuesday, falling to a three-week low amid forecasts for warmer weather in key regions across the U.S. during the next few weeks. Natural gas for March delivery on the New York Mercantile Exchange dropped more than 3% to a session low of $3.110 per million British thermal units, a level not seen since January 10. It was last at $3.147 by 10:25 AM ET (15:25 GMT), down 8.7 cents, or 2.7%, after losing 12.6 cents, or around 3.8%, a day earlier. The western, central and southern U.S., apart from the Northwest, will be mostly mild the next several days, dampening demand for the heating fuel. Further souring the mood, extended weather forecasting models showed that much of the U.S. is likely to become warmer than normal after February 11. Natural gas markets have been volatile in recent weeks, changing course rapidly in response to shifting outlooks in short-term weather patterns. 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

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