MTECHTIPS:-Natural gas futures - weekly outlook: July 13 - 17
Natural gas futures rose for the second consecutive session on Friday, pulling further away from a one-month low, as forecasts for the next two weeks turned warmer, boosting near-term demand expectations for the heating fuel. On the New York Mercantile Exchange, natural gas for delivery in August tacked on 4.4 cents, or 1.61%, to close at $2.770 per million British thermal units. Futures fell to $2.644 on Thursday, a level not seen since June 8, before turning higher to end at $2.726, up 4.1 cents, or 1.53%. For the week, the August natural gas contract lost 6.6 cents, or 1.84%. Futures were likely to find support at $2.644, the low from July 9, and resistance at $2.857, the high from July 6. 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. 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. The U.S. Energy Information Administration said in its weekly report Thursday that natural gas storage in the U.S. rose by 91 billion cubic feet, compared to expectations for an increase of 86 billion and following a build of 69 billion cubic feet in the preceding week. Supplies rose by 94 billion cubic feet in the year-earlier period, while the five-year average change is an increase of 75 billion cubic feet.