- Natural gas futures extended losses on Thursday, after data showed that U.S. natural gas supplies rose more than expected last week.

On the New York Mercantile Exchange, natural gas for delivery in June tumbled 2.05%, or 9.1 cents to trade at $4.382 per million British thermal units during U.S. morning hours. Futures traded at $4.450 prior to the release of the supply data.

Prices fell to a session low of $4.372 per million British thermal units earlier, the weakest since May 15. Natural gas ended Wednesday’s session down 1.74%, or 7.9 cents to settle at $4.473.

Futures were likely to find support at $4.289 per million British thermal units, the low from May 15 and resistance at $4.575, the high from May 21.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration said in its weekly report that natural gas storage in the U.S. in the week ended May 16 rose by 106 billion cubic feet, above forecasts for an increase of 102 billion cubic feet.

The five-year average change for the week is a build of 90 billion cubic feet.

Total U.S. natural gas storage stood at 1.266 trillion cubic feet. Stocks were 774 billion cubic feet less than last year at this time and 943 billion cubic feet below the five-year average of 2.209 trillion cubic feet for this time of year.

The report showed that in the East Region, stocks were 449 billion cubic feet below the five-year average, following net injections of 65 billion cubic feet.

Stocks in the Producing Region were 379 billion cubic feet below the five-year average of 892 billion cubic feet after a net injection of 29 billion cubic feet.

Producers would need to add 2.6 trillion to 2.9 trillion cubic feet to storage by November 1 to meet typical winter demand, analysts said.

Meanwhile, updated weather forecasting models called for mild springtime temperatures over much of the Midwest and Northeast, which was likely to lower heating demand.

Spring and fall see the weakest demand for natural gas in the U.S, as the absence of extreme temperatures curbs demand for heating and air conditioning.

Approximately 52% of U.S. households use natural gas for heating, according to the Energy Department.

Elsewhere on the Nymex, U.S. crude oil for delivery in July eased up 0.05%, or 5 cents, to trade at $104.12 a barrel, while heating oil for June delivery added 0.21% to trade at $2.959 per gallon.

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