Investing.com - Natural gas futures fell on Friday after investors locked in gains from Thursday''s bullish U.S. supply report and sold the commodity for profits.
On the New York Mercantile Exchange, natural gas futures for delivery in May traded at $4.505 per million British thermal units during U.S. trading, down 0.74%. The commodity hit session high of $4.568 and a low of $4.481.
The May contract settled up 3.25% on Thursday to end at $4.538 per million British thermal units.
Natural gas futures were likely to find support at $4.258 per million British thermal units, Monday''s low, and resistance at $4.585, the high from March 17.
The U.S. Energy Information Administration said in its weekly report on Thursday that natural gas storage in the U.S. in the week ending March 21 fell by 57 billion cubic feet, surpassing expectations for a decline of 54 billion cubic feet.
The numbers sent prices rising to levels ripe for profit taking.
Supplies fell by 90 billion cubic feet in the same week a year earlier while the five-year average change for the week is a drop of 7 billion cubic feet.
Total U.S. natural gas storage stood at 896 billion cubic feet, the lowest for this time of year since 2003.
Stocks were 899 billion cubic feet less than last year at this time and 926 billion cubic feet below the five-year average of 1.822 trillion cubic feet for this time of year.
The report showed that in the East Region, stocks were 419 billion cubic feet below the five-year average, following net withdrawals of 39 billion cubic feet.
Stocks in the Producing Region were 378 billion cubic feet below the five-year average of 754 billion cubic feet after a net withdrawal of 15 billion cubic feet.
Elsewhere, mild springtime temperatures should settle in over much of the U.S. in the coming days and suppress need for heating, though forecasts for pockets of below-normal mercury readings lingering in the northeastern U.S. cushioned losses.
The heating season from November through March is the peak demand period for U.S. gas consumption. Approximately 52% of U.S. households use natural gas for heating, according to the Energy Department.
Elsewhere on the NYMEX, light sweet crude oil futures for delivery in May were up 0.56% and trading at $101.85 a barrel, while heating oil for May delivery were up 0.17% and trading at $2.9480 per gallon.