Investing.com – Natural gas futures reversed losses to trade modestly higher on Thursday, after data showed that U.S. natural gas supplies rose less than expected last week.
for delivery in September on the New York Mercantile Exchange tacked on 0.8 cents, or 0.3%, to trade at $2.806 per million British thermal units during U.S. morning hours. Prices were at around $2.735 prior to the release of the supply data.
The U.S. Energy Information Administration said in its weekly report that in the U.S. in the week ended July 31 rose by 32 billion cubic feet, below expectations for an increase of 42 billion and following a build of 52 billion cubic feet in the preceding week.
Supplies rose by 83 billion cubic feet in the same week last year, while the five-year average change is an increase of 53 billion cubic feet.
Total U.S. natural gas storage stood at 2.912 trillion cubic feet as of last week. Stocks were 535 billion cubic feet higher than last year at this time and 64 billion cubic feet above the five-year average of 2.848 trillion cubic feet for this time of year.
A day earlier, natural gas rallied to $2.863, the most since July 30, before turning lower to end at $2.798, down 1.4 cents, or 0.5%, as weather forecasts turned milder.
Updated weather forecasting models indicated that hotter weather in the west, central and southern U.S. would give way to more moderate temperatures through August 20.
Demand for natural gas tends to fluctuate in the summer based on hot weather and air conditioning use. Natural gas accounts for about a quarter of U.S. electricity generation.
Elsewhere on the Nymex, for delivery in September slumped 62 cents, or 1.37%, to trade at $44.53 a barrel, while for September delivery inched up 0.25% to trade at $1.542 per gallon.
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