Investing.com - U.S. natural gas futures retreated on Friday, as receding concerns over tight domestic supplies weighed.
On the New York Mercantile Exchange, natural gas for delivery in July shed 0.37%, or 1.7 cents, on Friday to settle at $4.542 per million British thermal units by close of trade.
Natural gas prices tumbled 1.21%, or 5.6 cents on Thursday to close at $4.559 per million British thermal units.
Futures were likely to find support at $4.488 per million British thermal units, the low from May 28 and resistance at $4.665, the high from May 29.
Despite Thursday and Friday’s lackluster performance, Nymex natural gas prices still rose 2.84%, or 12.9 cents on the week. For May, however, prices lost 5.3%.
Natural gas prices fell more than 1% on Thursday after the U.S. Energy Information Administration said in its weekly report that natural gas storage in the U.S. rose by 114 billion cubic feet, above forecasts for an increase of 110 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.
Total U.S. natural gas storage stood at 1.380 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.
Losses were limited as market players prepped for the arrival of summertime temperatures in the U.S., which should hike demand for air conditioning. Updated weather-forecasting models called for above-normal temperatures to settle in across parts of the lower 48 U.S. states through the first week of June.
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.
Data from the Commodities Futures Trading Commission released Friday showed that hedge funds and money managers modestly increased their bullish bets in natural gas futures in the week ending May 27.
Net longs totaled 79,385 contracts, up 0.8% from net longs of 78,770 in the previous week.
Elsewhere in the energy complex, U.S. crude oil for July delivery settled at $102.71 a barrel by close of trade on Friday, down 1.57%, or $1.64 a barrel, on the week.
Meanwhile, heating oil for July delivery slumped 2.09% on the week to settle at $2.892 per gallon by close of trade Friday.
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