- Natural gas futures carried Thursday''s losses into Friday after official data revealed U.S. inventories rose more than markets were expecting last week.

On the New York Mercantile Exchange, natural gas futures for delivery in August traded at $4.393 per million British thermal units during U.S. trading, down 1.09%. The commodity hit a session high of $4.466 and a low of $4.376.

The August contract settled down 2.80% on Thursday to end at $4.441 per million British thermal units.

Natural gas futures were likely to find support at $4.364 per million British thermal units, the low from May 27, and resistance at $4.608, Thursday''s high.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration said in its weekly report on Thursday that natural gas storage in the U.S. in the week ended June 20 rose by 110 billion cubic feet, above forecasts for an increase of 102 billion cubic feet.

The five-year average build for the week is 81 billion.

Total U.S. natural gas storage stood at 1.829 trillion cubic feet. Stocks were 690 billion cubic feet less than last year at this time and 822 billion cubic feet below the five-year average of 2.651 trillion cubic feet for this time of year.

Natural gas stockpiles have grown by more than 100 billion cubic feet for seven consecutive weeks, a record streak since 1994.

Producers would need to add approximately 2.6 trillion cubic feet to storage by November 1 to meet typical winter demand, according to analysts.

Elsewhere on the NYMEX, light sweet crude oil futures for delivery in August were down 0.10% at $105.74 a barrel, while heating oil for August delivery were down 0.33% at $3.0086 per gallon.

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