Investing.com - Natural gas futures shot up on Monday after updated weather forecasting models called for a cold snap to sweep across the U.S. in the coming days and hike demand for heating in its wake.
On the New York Mercantile Exchange, natural gas futures for delivery in April traded at $4.554 per million British thermal units during U.S. trading, up 2.90%. The commodity hit session high of $4.585 and a low of $4.484.
The April contract settled up 0.96% on Friday to end at $4.425 per million British thermal units.
Natural gas futures were likely to find support at $4.342 per million British thermal units, Friday''s low, and resistance at $4.732, the high from March 10.
Updated weather-forecasting models called for below-normal temperatures from March 22 through March 31 in portions of the heavily populated central and northeastern U.S.
According to AccuWeather.com, temperatures in New York will fall to as much as -2 degrees Fahrenheit on March 24, 5 degrees below average. Readings in Chicago will bottom at -6 degrees Fahrenheit, compared to the average of 1 degree, while Detroit will see a low of -6 degrees, 6 below usual.
Natural gas prices rose on expectations for households to ramp up on their heating as mercury readings fall, which offset seasonal selling and profit taking.
Prices slumped to a seven-week low of $4.341 per million British thermal units on Friday, amid concerns that the arrival of spring will bring warmer temperatures throughout the U.S. and cut into demand for heating.
The heating season from November through March is the peak demand period for U.S. gas consumption. Approximately 52% of U.S. households use natural gas for heating, according to the Energy Department.
Elsewhere on the NYMEX, light sweet crude oil futures for delivery in May were down 1.26% and trading at $97.32 a barrel, while heating oil for April delivery were down 1.48% and trading at $2.8994 per gallon.