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Natural gas futures extend losses after storage data



© Reuters. U.S. natural gas futures add to losses after weekly storage report – Natural gas futures extended losses on Thursday, despite data showing that U.S. natural gas supplies rose less than expected last week.

for delivery in September on the New York Mercantile Exchange tumbled 5.4 cents, or 1.9%, to trade at $2.809 per million British thermal units during U.S. morning hours after hitting a daily peak of $2.882 earlier, the most since July 23. Prices were at around $2.821 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 24 rose by 52 billion cubic feet, below expectations for an increase of 54 billion and following a build of 61 billion cubic feet in the preceding week.

Supplies rose by 88 billion cubic feet in the same week last year, while the five-year average change is an increase of 48 billion cubic feet.

Total U.S. natural gas storage stood at 2.880 trillion cubic feet as of last week. Stocks were 586 billion cubic feet higher than last year at this time and 85 billion cubic feet above the five-year average of 2.795 trillion cubic feet for this time of year.

A day earlier, natural gas rallied 4.8 cents, or 1.7%, to end at $2.864 as investors bet a heat wave making its way across the eastern U.S. will prompt households to ramp up their air conditioning.

Updated weather forecasting models called for hotter than normal temperatures across most parts of the Midwest and East Coast over the next five days.

Demand for natural gas tends to rise in the summer months as warmer temperatures increase the need for gas-fired electricity to power air conditioning. Natural gas accounts for about a quarter of U.S. electricity generation.

Elsewhere on the Nymex, for delivery in September tacked on 27 cents, or 0.55%, to trade at $49.06 a barrel, while for August delivery rose 1.55% to trade at $1.623 per gallon.

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