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U.S. natural gas futures rise 2% as forecasts turn warmer



© Reuters. Natural gas futures rise as forecasts turn warmer – U.S. natural gas prices rose for the second consecutive session on Tuesday, as forecasts for the coming week turned warmer, boosting near-term demand expectations for the heating fuel.

for delivery in September on the New York Mercantile Exchange jumped 4.2 cents, or 1.51%, to trade at $2.790 per million British thermal units during U.S. morning hours. On Monday, natural gas rose 3.2 cents, or 1.18%, to end at $2.748.

Updated weather forecasting models pointed to warmer-than-normal temperatures across many regions, including the west, central and southern U.S., through August 11, boosting summer cooling demand for the fuel.

Forecasts originally called for mostly average summer temperatures during the period.

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.

According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, natural gas storage stood at 2.828 trillion cubic feet as of last week, 28.2% higher than during the same week a year earlier and 2.9% above the five-year average for this time of year.

Last spring, supplies were 55% below the five-year average, indicating producers have made up for all of last winter’s unusually strong demand.

Data last week showed that in the U.S. 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.

The EIA's next storage report slated for release on Thursday, August 6 is expected to show a build of approximately 50 billion cubic feet for the week ending July 31.

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.

Elsewhere on the Nymex, for delivery in September tacked on 66 cents, or 1.46%, to trade at $45.83 a barrel, while for September delivery climbed 1.23% to trade at $1.549 per gallon.

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