Investing.com - Natural gas futures swung between small gains and losses on Tuesday, as market players assessed the outlook for U.S. demand and supply levels.
On the New York Mercantile Exchange, natural gas for delivery in July inched up 0.24%, or 1.1 cents to trade at $4.412 per million British thermal units during U.S. morning hours.
Prices held in a range between $4.366 and $4.420 per million British thermal units.
Futures were likely to find support at $4.350 per million British thermal units, the low from May 22 and resistance at $4.517, May 22’s high.
The U.S. Energy Information Administration said last week that natural gas storage in the U.S. rose by 106 billion cubic feet in the week ending May 16, 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 as of last week, nearly 40% below their level this time last year and 45% below the five-year average.
Producers would need to add approximately 2.5 trillion cubic feet to storage by November 1 to meet typical winter demand, analysts said.
Early injection estimates for this Thursday’s storage data range from 104 billion cubic feet to 109 billion cubic feet. Inventories rose by 88 billion cubic feet in the same week a year earlier, while the five-year average change for the week is a build of 93 billion cubic feet.
Meanwhile, market players prepped for the arrival of summertime temperatures in the U.S., which should hike demand for air conditioning.
Demand for natural gas tends to rise in the summer months as warmer temperatures increase the need for gas-fired electricity to power air conditioning.
Elsewhere on the Nymex, U.S. crude oil for delivery in July dipped 0.24%, or 25 cents, to trade at $104.10 a barrel, while heating oil for July delivery eased up 0.01% to trade at $2.955 per gallon.
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