U.S. natural gas futures hit session lows after supply data

U.S. natural gas futures fell to session lows on Thursday, following data showing that natural gas supplies in storage in the U.S. rose more than expected last week.

U.S. natural gas for June delivery was down around 0.026 cents or 0.76% to $3.275 per million British thermal units by 10:35 ET (14:35 GMT).

Futures were at around $3.303 prior to the release of the supply data after rising to a session high of $3.351 earlier.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration said in its weekly report that natural gas storage in the U.S. rose by 75 billion cubic feet in the week ended May 19, above forecasts for a build of 71 billion.

That compared with a gain of 68 billion cubic feet in the preceding week.

Total natural gas in storage currently stands at 2.444 trillion cubic feet, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. Stocks were 371 billion cubic feet less than last year at this time and 241 billion cubic feet above the five-year average of 2,203 billion cubic feet.

Natural gas prices have closely tracked weather forecasts in recent weeks, as traders try to gauge the impact of shifting outlooks on spring heating demand.

Gas use typically hits a seasonal low with spring’s mild temperatures, before warmer weather increases demand for gas-fired electricity generation to power air conditioning.

Nearly 50% of all U.S. households use gas for heating.

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