MTECHTIPS:-U.S. natural gas sinks to 12-week lows amid lack of cold

MTECHTIPS:-U.S. natural gas sinks to 12-week lows amid lack of cold weather

MTECHTIPS- U.S. natural gas futures fell sharply on Monday, hitting the lowest level since November as forecasts continued to call for mostly warmer-than-normal weather in key regions across the U.S. for the rest of the winter. Natural gas for March delivery on the New York Mercantile Exchange sank to a session low of $2.952 per million British thermal units, a level not seen since November 23. It was last at $2.964 by 9:25 AM ET (14:25 GMT), down 7.0 cents, or around 2.3%. Prices of the heating fuel are down almost 21% since the start of the year as forecasts for warm winter weather weighed on heating demand expectations. Natural gas markets have been volatile in recent weeks, changing course rapidly in response to shifting outlooks in short-term weather patterns. 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 122 and 133 billion cubic feet in the week ended February 10. That compares with a withdrawal of 152 billion cubic feet in the preceding week, 163 billion a year earlier and a five-year average drop of 156 billion cubic feet.

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