U.S. Natural Gas Futures Struggles Near Two-Week Lows During Warmer Weather

oil-rig

On Monday, U.S. natural gas futures fight back near a two-week low, as predictions indicating warm weather, decreasing  in key regions in the U.S. during the next few weeks reduced demand for the heating fuel.

Delivery of natural gas for February on the NYMEX decline to a session low of $3.145 per million British thermal units, a level not perceived since January 10.

It was previously at $3.189 by 9:35AM ET (14:35GMT), down 1.5 cents, or about 0.5%.

The more-actively traded March deal declined 0.7 cents, or 0.2%, at $3.204.

The previous week, prices of the heating fuel displayed a weekly loss of over 6% on predictions for warmer winter weather.

In recent weeks, natural gas markets have been volatile, adjusting course quickly in response to shifting outlooks in near term weather patterns.

Prices normally increase during the winter as colder weather sparks indoor-heating demand. About half of U.S. homes use natural gas for heating.

Temporarily, market players looked forward to weekly storage data schedule on Thursday, which is expected to indicate a draw in a range between 105 and 117 billion cubic feet in the week ended January 20.

That compares with a withdrawal of 243 billion cubic feet in the prior week, 211 billion a year before and a five-year average decline of 176 billion cubic feet.

According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration,  total natural gas in storage presently stands at 2.917 trillion cubic feet, 12.9% lower than levels at this time a year ago and around 2.6% below the five-year average for this time of year.

On Additional News

On Tuesday, a weaker greenback supported crude prices gain in Asia with the currency on a trade-weighted basis temporarily dropping below one hundred  for the first time since mid-November before improving slightly on concerns of a major shakeup to the global trading administration.

After dropping to 99.5,  the U.S. dollar index increase 0.14% to 100.09 in early Asia. Crude is denominated in dollars, making a weaker dollar a benefit to key buyers such as China and India.

Suddenly, higher production by U.S. shale drillers and other producer countries weigh up on crude prices in the U.S. with Brent and West Texas Intermediate settling down in spite of efforts to reduce global  production by approximately 1.8 million barrels per day by OPEC and non-OPEC countries.

Global benchmark Brent crude increases 0.29% to $55.52 a barrel on London’s Intercontinental Exchange, while U.S. crude on the NYMEX increased 0.49% to $53.01 a barrel.

While Oil prices inched higher during European morning hours on Tuesday, recovering  from the previous session’s losses  during ongoing indications that major oil producers are sticking to their pledge to reduce back production.

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