MTECHTIPS:-Natural gas higher after storage data
Natural gas futures were higher on Thursday, after data showed that U.S. natural gas supplies rose less-than-expected last week. On the New York Mercantile Exchange, natural gas for delivery in August was up 1.37% to $2.859 per million British thermal units. Prices were at around $2.822 prior to the release of the supply data. In its weekly report the Energy Information Administration said natural gas storage in the week ended June 26 rose by 69 billion cubic feet, compared to expectations for an increase of 70 bcf. Total U.S. natural gas storage stood at 2,577 bcf, the EIA said. Stocks were 662 bcf higher than last year at this time and 29 bcf above the five-year average of 2,548 bcf for this time of year. EIA data shows that power plants account for approximately 32% of gas demand in the U.S. Demand for natural gas tends to fluctuate in the summer based on hot weather and air conditioning use. Elsewhere on the Nymex, crude oil for delivery in August was up 1.40% at $57.77 a barrel, while heating oil for August delivery jumped 1.42% to $1.8652 per gallon.