Natural gas futures tumble to 4-week low on weak fundamentals

U.S. natural gas prices fell for the fourth consecutive session on Tuesday to hit the lowest level in more than four weeks as forecasts for above-normal temperatures to settle in across much of the U.S. in early December weighed.

On the New York Mercantile Exchange, natural gas for delivery in January fell by as much as 2.95% to touch a daily low of $3.923 per million British thermal units, the weakest level since October 31, before recovering to last trade at $3.929, down 7.9 cents, or 1.96%.

A day earlier, U.S. gas futures lost 7.7 cents, or 1.89%, to settle at $4.007 per million British thermal units.

Futures were likely to find support at $3.835 per million British thermal units, the low from October 31, and resistance at $4.047, the high from December 1.

Updated weather forecasting models for the first two weeks of December pointed to mild temperatures, prompting investors to bet that utilities and homes will burn less natural gas as demand for heating falls.

The heating season from November through March is the peak demand period for U.S. gas consumption.

Meanwhile, the U.S. Energy Information Administration said last week that natural gas storage in the U.S. fell by 162 billion cubic feet, compared to expectations for a decline of 150 billion.

The five-year average change for the week is a drop of 6 billion cubic feet.

Total U.S. natural gas storage stood at 3.432 trillion cubic feet as of last week, 9.2% below year-ago levels and nearly 10.4% below the five-year average for this time of year.

The Energy Information Administration’s next storage report is slated for release on Thursday, December 4, with analysts expecting a decline of 47 billion cubic feet for the week ending November 28.

The five-year average change for the week is a decrease of 50 billion cubic feet. Stockpiles fell by 141 billion in the same week a year earlier.

Elsewhere on the Nymex, crude oil for delivery in January lost $1.04, or 1.51%, to trade at $67.96 a barrel, while heating oil for January delivery fell 1.09% to trade at $2.188 per gallon.

source: nasdaq

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