MTECHTIPS:-U.S. natural gas pulls back from 5-week high

MTECHTIPS:-U.S. natural gas pulls back from 5-week high

MTECHTIPS-U.S. natural gas futures fell for the first time in four sessions on Wednesday, pulling back from the strongest level since February as traders continued to monitor shifting early-spring weather forecasts. U.S. natural gas for April delivery dropped 4.8 cents, or around 1.6% to $3.045 per million British thermal units by 9:50 AM ET (13:50 GMT). It settled higher for the third session in a row on Tuesday after hitting its strongest since February 9 at $3.113. Warm to mild conditions will dominate most of the U.S. this weekend, even as a spring-like weather system with heavy showers and thunderstorms impacts the central U.S. Next week will be mostly mild to warm across the country with limited demand for heating or cooling besides the far northern U.S., according to forecasters at Meanwhile, market participants looked ahead to weekly storage data due on Thursday, which is expected to show a draw of 147 billion cubic feet in the week ended March 17. That compares with a withdrawal of 53 billion cubic feet in the preceding week, a build of 15 billion a year earlier and a five-year average drop of 21 billion cubic feet. Total natural gas in storage currently stands at 2.295 trillion cubic feet, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, 7.7% lower than levels at this time a year ago but 15.8% above the five-year average for this time of year. Prices of the heating fuel are down around 18% so far this year as forecasts for warm winter weather weighed on heating demand expectations

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