MTECHTIPS:-Natural gas futures extend losses after bearish storage data
Natural gas futures extended losses on Thursday, after data showed that U.S. natural gas supplies rose more than expected last week. Natural gas for delivery in August tumbled 3.5 cents, or 1.18%, to trade at $2.883 per million British thermal units on the New York Mercantile Exchange during U.S. morning hours. Prices were at around $2.901 prior to the release of the supply data. Futures were likely to find support at $2.832, the low from July 15, and resistance at $2.934, the high from July 14. The U.S. Energy Information Administration said in its weekly report that natural gas storage in the U.S. in the week ended July 10 rose by 99 billion cubic feet, compared to expectations for an increase of 95 billion and following a build of 91 billion cubic feet in the preceding week. Supplies rose by 105 billion cubic feet in the same week last year, while the five-year average change is an increase of 71 billion cubic feet. Total U.S. natural gas storage stood at 2.767 trillion cubic feet as of last week. Stocks were 653 billion cubic feet higher than last year at this time and 73 billion cubic feet above the five-year average of 2.694 trillion cubic feet for this time of year. A day earlier, natural gas futures surged 7.8 cents, or 2.75%, to close at $2.918 as forecasts for warmer-than-average temperatures across much of the U.S. boosted summer cooling demand for the fuel. Updated weather forecasting models pointed to warmer-than-normal temperatures across many regions through July 24, boosting summer cooling demand for the fuel. Forecasts originally called for mild summer weather during the period.