Natural gas futures rose in New York, headed for a second straight weekly gain, as forecasts for frigid weather signaled increased demand for the heating fuel.
Gas gained as much as 1.4 percent as forecasters including MDA Weather Services in Bethesda, Maryland, predicted below- normal temperatures from the Midwest to the Northeast over the next 10 days. The futures rose to a six-week high yesterday after a government report showed a bigger-than-expected decline in U.S. stockpiles.
“We are going to see some of the coldest temperatures in the Midwest that we’ve seen for this season,” said Phil Flynn, senior market analyst at Price Futures Group in Chicago. “Yesterday’s withdrawal number was the catalyst of the move yesterday. The market may get surprised next week by how much we use.”
Natural gas for February delivery increased 2 cents, or 0.6 percent, to $3.514 per million British thermal units at 9:33 a.m. on the New York Mercantile Exchange after reaching $3.543, the highest intraday price since Dec. 7. Trading volume was 9.9 percent below the 100-day average. Gas is up 5.6 percent this week and has climbed 42 percent from a year ago.
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