Natural gas prices hovered to near seven-month highs on Tuesday after updated weather forecasting models continued to call for below-normal temperatures over much of the U.S. over the coming week.
On the New York Mercantile Exchange, natural gas futures for delivery in January traded at USD4.250 per million British thermal units during U.S. trading, up 0.41%.
The commodity hit a session low of USD4.220 and a high of USD4.287.
The January contract settled up 2.87% at USD4.232 per million British thermal units on Monday.
Futures were likely to find support at USD3.951 per million British thermal units, Thursday''s low, and resistance at USD4.357, the high from May 27.
Updated weather forecasting models called for below-normal temperatures to hold their grip across the U.S. during the next five days, with heavy snow expected in the northeastern reaches of the country.
Temperatures will remain seasonably cold elsewhere over the next ten days, and while the cold snap my thaw around the third week of December, a fresh blast of cold air may return afterwards, according to natgasweather.com.
Colder temperatures hike the need for heating this time of year, thus increasing demand for natural gas at the nation''s thermal power generators.
Meanwhile, U.S. supply levels remained in focus. Total U.S. natural gas storage stood at 3.614 trillion cubic feet as last week, more than 5% below last year''s unusually high level and nearly 3% below the five-year average for this time of year.
Early estimates for next week’s storage data range from a draw of 75 billion cubic feet to 86 billion cubic feet, compared to a drop of 8 billion cubic feet during the same week a year earlier.
The five-year average change for the week is a decline of 76 billion cubic feet.
Elsewhere on the NYMEX, light sweet crude oil futures for delivery in January were up 0.70% and trading at USD98.02 a barrel, while heating oil for January delivery were down 0.03% and trading at USD3.0134 per gallon.
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