Natural gas futures rose for a fourth consecutive session on Wednesday amid hopes that Thursday''s inventory data will reveal a recent winter storm that froze much of the U.S. has taken its toll on supplies.
On the New York Mercantile Exchange, natural gas futures for delivery in February traded at USD4.416 per million British thermal units during U.S. trading, up 1.06%. The commodity hit session high of USD4.431 and a low of USD4.335.
The February contract settled up 2.22% on Tuesday to end at USD4.369 per million British thermal units. Natural gas futures were likely to find support at USD4.119 per million British thermal units, Monday''s low, and resistance at USD4.471, the high from Dec. 30.
A recent blast of frigid air sent temperatures falling dangerously low in recent days, and energy markets were betting Wednesday the weather system will reflect in Thursday''s supply data.
Early withdrawal estimates for this Thursday’s storage data range from 250 billion cubic feet to 339 billion cubic feet. The five-year average change for the week is a decline of 159 billion cubic feet.
The largest drop on record is a decrease of 285 billion cubic feet in the seven days ended Dec. 13, Energy Information Administration data show.
Natural gas supplies fell by 157 billion cubic feet last week to hit 2.817 trillion cubic feet, approximately 16% below last year''s unusually high level and nearly 10% below the five-year average for this time of year.
Meanwhile, updated weather forecasting models continued to predict below-normal temperatures in the week ahead for much of the U.S., which also pressured prices higher.
Elsewhere on the NYMEX, light sweet crude oil futures for delivery in March were up 1.82% and trading at USD94.47 a barrel, while heating oil for February delivery were up 1.76% and trading at USD2.9880 per gallon.
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