MTECHTIPS;-U.S. natural gas futures edge higher with weather, supply

MTECHTIPS;-U.S. natural gas futures edge higher with weather, supply in focus

MTECHTIPS-U.S. natural gas futures edged higher for the second day in a row on Wednesday, as traders continued to monitor shifting weather forecasts to assess the outlook for early-spring demand and supply levels. U.S. natural gas for June delivery tacked on 2.9 cents, or around 0.9%, to $3.194 per million British thermal units by 9:10 AM ET (13:10 GMT). Prices of the heating fuel inched up for the first time in four sessions on Tuesday. Weather systems will sweep across the Great Lakes and Northeast with showers and slightly cool temperatures through the end of the month. High pressure is expected to dominate the western and southern US with warmer than normal conditions during the period. Natural gas prices have closely tracked weather forecasts in recent weeks, as traders try to gauge the impact of shifting outlooks on spring demand. Gas use typically hits a seasonal low with spring’s mild temperatures, before warmer weather increases demand for gas-fired electricity generation to power air conditioning. Nearly 50% of all U.S. households use gas for heating. 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.
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