MTECHTIPS:-Natural gas futures push higher as market awaits storage report
Natural gas prices rose on Wednesday, as market participants looked ahead to fresh weekly information on U.S. gas inventories to gauge the strength of demand for the fuel. Natural gas for delivery in August tacked on 2.4 cents, or 0.86%, on the New York Mercantile Exchange to trade at $2.770 per million British thermal units during U.S. morning hours. A day earlier, natural gas prices fell to $2.734, the lowest level since June 9, before ending at $2.746, down 1.6 cents, or 0.58%. Futures were likely to find support at $2.696, the low from June 9, and resistance at $2.825, the high from June 23. The U.S. Energy Information Administration’s next storage report slated for release on Thursday is expected to show a build of approximately 80 billion cubic feet for the week ending June 19. Supplies rose by 110 billion cubic feet in the same week last year, while the five-year average change is an increase of 86 billion cubic feet. Total U.S. natural gas storage stood at 2.433 trillion cubic feet as of last week, 42.9% higher than during the same week a year earlier and 1.9% 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. Meanwhile, investors focused on near-term weather forecasts to gauge the strength of demand for the fuel. Updated weather forecasting models called for higher-than-normal temperatures across most parts of the U.S. in the next three days. However, a cooler weather system from Canada was expected to push readings to near normal across much of Northeast and Midwest early next week.