Natural gas futures fluctuated in New York amid speculation that fading cold weather as the U.S. winter draws to a close will reduce fuel demand.
Gas was little changed as MDA Weather Services predicted above-normal temperatures in the South from March 18 through March 22, with seasonal weather in the East. The futures closed yesterday at the highest price in 13 weeks after a government report showed a stockpile drop that exceeded analyst estimates.
“We still have lingering cold and we are going to continue to tighten the supply and demand balance,” said Gene McGillian, an analyst and broker at Tradition Energy in Stamford, Connecticut. “The problem is, you have very little left of winter heating.”
Natural gas for April delivery fell 0.7 cent to $3.575 per million British thermal units at 9:21 a.m. on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Trading volume was 45 percent above the 100-day average for the time of day. Gas yesterday closed at $3.582, the highest settlement price since Dec. 6. The futures are heading for a third consecutive weekly gain.
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