MTECHTIPS;-U.S. natural gas futures stay lower after weekly storage

MTECHTIPS;-U.S. natural gas futures stay lower after weekly storage data

MTECHTIPS-U.S. natural gas futures edged lower on Thursday, holding on to losses after data showed that natural gas supplies in storage in the U.S. rose more than expected last week. U.S. natural gas for May delivery shed 1.5 cents, or around 0.5%, to $3.171 per million British thermal units by 10:33 AM ET (14:33 GMT). Futures were at around $3.170 prior to the release of the supply data. It gained 4.0 cents on Wednesday, as traders monitored shifting weather forecasts to assess the outlook for early-spring demand and supply levels. The U.S. Energy Information Administration said in its weekly report that natural gas storage in the U.S. rose by 54 billion cubic feet in the week ended April 14, compared to forecasts for a build of 48 billion. That compared with a gain of 10 billion cubic feet in the preceding week, an increase of 7 billion a year earlier and a five-year average rise of 35 billion cubic feet. Total natural gas in storage currently stands at 2.115 trillion cubic feet, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, 14.8% lower than levels at this time a year ago but 13.3% above the five-year average for this time of year. Meanwhile, a colder weather system will track over the southern and eastern U.S. from Friday through next Wednesday to bring an increase in demand to stronger levels. 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.
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