- Natural gas futures turned lower 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 traded at $4.715 per million British thermal units during U.S. morning hours, down 0.68%, or 3.3 cents. Futures traded at $4.758 prior to the release of the supply data.

Natural gas futures rose to a daily high of $4.818 per million British thermal units earlier in the session, the most since February 25.

The June contract shed 0.23%, or 1.1 cents, on Wednesday to settle at $4.747 per million British thermal units.

Futures were likely to find support at $4.695 per million British thermal units, the low from April 22 and resistance at $5.207, the high from February 25.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration said in its weekly report that natural gas storage in the U.S. in the week ended April 18 rose by 49 billion cubic feet, above forecasts for an increase of 42 billion cubic feet.

Total U.S. natural gas storage stood at 899 billion cubic feet. Stocks were 831 billion cubic feet less than last year at this time and 1.008 trillion cubic feet below the five-year average of 1.907 trillion cubic feet for this time of year.

The report showed that in the East Region, stocks were 470 billion cubic feet below the five-year average, following net injections of 17 billion cubic feet.

Stocks in the Producing Region were 412 billion cubic feet below the five-year average of 805 billion cubic feet after a net injection of 22 billion cubic feet.

Prices found additional support after updated weather-forecasting models continued to call for below-normal temperatures stretching across portions of the central and eastern U.S. in the coming week.

Portions of the Midwest and eastern regions of the U.S. should see cool temperatures run through the end of April, which should hike demand for heating.

Elsewhere on the Nymex, crude oil for delivery in June rose 0.5%, or 51 cents, to trade at $101.95 a barrel, while heating oil for May delivery added 0.56% to trade at $2.997 per gallon.

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