MTECHTIPS;-U.S. natural gas regains strength amid shifting weather

MTECHTIPS;-U.S. natural gas regains strength amid shifting weather forecasts

MTECHTIPS-U.S. natural gas futures edged higher on Tuesday, regaining strength as traders monitored shifting weather forecasts to assess the outlook for early-spring demand and supply levels.U.S. natural gas for May delivery tacked on 2.8 cents, or around 0.9% to $3.159 per million British thermal units by 10:10 AM ET (14:10 GMT). It settled lower for the first time in three sessions on Tuesday, falling 2.2 cents. Weather systems will track across the country the next several days with rain, snow, and thunderstorms, but with limited cold air as they play out spring-like, according to forecasters at Natural gas prices have closely tracked weather forecasts in recent weeks, as traders try to gauge the impact of shifting forecasts on early-spring demand. The heating season from November through March is the peak demand period for U.S. gas consumption. Nearly 50% of all U.S. households use 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 43 and 54 billion cubic feet in the week ended March 24. That compares with a withdrawal of 150 billion cubic feet in the preceding week, a decline of 25 billion a year earlier and a five-year average drop of 27 billion cubic feet. Total natural gas in storage currently stands at 2.092 trillion cubic feet, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, 16% lower than levels at this time a year ago but 12.7% above the five-year average for this time of year.
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