MTECHTIPS;-U.S. natural gas futures spike higher after weekly storage

MTECHTIPS;-U.S. natural gas futures spike higher after weekly storage data

MTECHTIPS-U.S. natural gas futures rose to the highest levels of the session in North American trade on Thursday, after data showed that domestic supplies in storage rose less than anticipated last week. U.S. natural gas for September delivery was at $2.963 per million British thermal units by 10:35 AM ET (1435 MT), up 5.2 cents, or around 1.8%. Futures were at around $2.937 prior to the release of the supply data. Prices ended lower for the fifth time in six sessions on Wednesday amid bearish weather forecasts that should limit demand for the fuel. Natural gas prices have closely tracked weather forecasts in recent weeks, as traders try to gauge the impact of shifting outlooks on summer cooling demand. Nearly 50% of all U.S. households use gas for cooling. The U.S. Energy Information Administration said in its weekly report that natural gas storage in the U.S. rose by 17 billion cubic feet in the week ended July 21, below forecasts for a build of 24 billion. That compared with a gain of 28 billion cubic feet in the preceding week, an increase of 17 billion a year earlier and a five-year average rise of 47 billion cubic feet.

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