Natural gas futures climbed for a third day in New York on speculation that an unusually cold start to February will boost demand for the heating fuel.
Gas rose as much as 2.2 percent as forecasters including Commodity Weather Group LLC in Bethesda, Maryland, predicted below-normal temperatures across the eastern third of the U.S. over the next 11 to 15 days. The low in Chicago on Feb. 4 may be 8 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 13 Celsius), 11 below normal, said AccuWeather Inc. in State College, Pennsylvania.
“It’s probably the coldest weather of the season and prices are reacting,” said Tom Saal, senior vice president of energy trading at FCStone Latin America, LLC in Miami.
Natural gas for February delivery gained 4.3 cents, or 1.2 percent, to $3.609 per million British thermal units at 9:16 a.m. on the New York Mercantile Exchange after reaching $3.645, the highest intraday price since Dec. 7. Trading volume was more than double the 100-day average. Gas is up 54 percent from a year ago.
Electronic trading yesterday during the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday will be wrapped into today’s close.
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