Investing.com - Natural gas futures shot up on Thursday after weekly U.S. supply data revealed the country''s stockpiles fell more than expected last week.
On the New York Mercantile Exchange, natural gas futures for delivery in April traded at $4.613 per million British thermal units during U.S. trading, up 1.99%. The commodity hit session high of $4.694 and a low of $4.510.
The April contract settled down 3.09% on Wednesday to end at $4.523 per million British thermal units.
Natural gas futures were likely to find support at $4.463 per million British thermal units, Monday''s low, and resistance at $4.721, Wednesday''s high.
The U.S. Energy Information Administration said in its weekly report that natural gas storage in the U.S. in the week ended Feb. 28 fell by 152 billion cubic feet, outpacing expectations for a decline of 138 billion cubic feet.
Supplies fell by 149 billion cubic feet in the same week a year earlier, while the five-year average is a decline of 105 billion.
Total U.S. natural gas storage stood at 1.1968 trillion cubic feet, the lowest for this time of year since 2004.
Stocks were 908 billion cubic feet less than last year at this time and 758 billion cubic feet below the five-year average of 1.954 trillion cubic feet for this time of year.
The report showed that in the East Region, stocks were 370 billion cubic feet below the five-year average, following net withdrawals of 82 billion cubic feet.
Stocks in the Producing Region were 273 billion cubic feet below the five-year average of 754 billion cubic feet after a net withdrawal of 43 billion cubic feet.
Gains were somewhat limited due to concerns that the coldest part of winter has passed, while warmer spring temperatures lie just around the corner.
Spring and fall see the weakest demand for natural gas in the U.S, as the absence of extreme temperatures curbs demand for heating and air conditioning.
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 April were down 1.10% and trading at $100.33 a barrel, while heating oil for April delivery were down 0.83% and trading at $2.9675 per gallon.