Investing.com - Natural gas futures fell on Friday after updated weather-forecasting models called for milder temperatures to return to the U.S. in February and curb demand for heating in the country''s homes and businesses.
On the New York Mercantile Exchange, natural gas futures for delivery in March traded at USD4.827 per million British thermal units during U.S. trading, down 3.68%. The commodity hit session high of USD5.723 and a low of USD4.994.
The March contract settled down 8.31% on Thursday to end at USD5.011 per million British thermal units.
Natural gas futures were likely to find support at USD4.652 per million British thermal units, Monday''s low, and resistance at USD5.481, Wednesday''s high.
Recent blasts of frigid air sweeping across the U.S. will give way to milder temperatures in February and prompt homes and businesses to scale back on their heating.
Updated weather-forecasting models called for below-normal temperatures in pockets of the northern U.S. in early February, though the rest of the country could see milder temperatures, which should prompt thermal power producers to cut back on their demand for natural gas.
Thursday''s supply data also pressured prices down.
The U.S. Energy Information Administration said in its weekly report that natural gas storage in the U.S. in the week ended Jam. 24 fell by 230 billion cubic feet, missing expectations for a decline of 236 billion cubic feet.
Gas supplies fell by 191 billion cubic feet during the same week a year earlier, while the five-year average change for the week is a decline of 162 billion cubic feet.
Total U.S. natural gas storage stood at 2.193 trillion cubic feet. Stocks were 637 billion cubic feet less than last year at this time and 437 billion cubic feet below the five-year average of 2.630 trillion cubic feet for this time of year.
The report showed that in the East Region, stocks were 269 billion cubic feet below the five-year average, following net withdrawals of 124 billion cubic feet.
Stocks in the Producing Region were 121 billion cubic feet below the five-year average of 924 billion cubic feet after a net withdrawal of 84 billion cubic feet.
Elsewhere on the NYMEX, light sweet crude oil futures for delivery in March were down 0.33% and trading at USD97.91 a barrel, while heating oil for March delivery were down 0.16% and trading at USD3.0227 per gallon.
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