Investing.com – Natural gas futures were higher on Thursday, reaching their strongest levels of the session following the release of weekly storage data.
Front-month jumped 5.3 cents, or around 1.9%, to $2.789 per million British thermal units (btu) by 10:44AM ET (1444GMT). Futures were at around $2.757 prior to the release of the supply data.
The U.S. Energy Information Administration said in its weekly report that natural gas storage in the U.S. rose by (bcf) in the week ended May 4, compared to forecasts for a gain of 81 bcf.
It was the second straight build of the storage injection season.
That compared with a build of 62 bcf in the preceding week, an increase of 45 bcf a year earlier and a five-year average rise of 75 bcf.
Total natural gas in storage currently stands at 1.432 trillion cubic feet (tcf), according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.
That figure is 863 bcf, or around 37.6%, lower than levels at this time a year ago, and 520 bcf, or roughly 26.6%, below the five-year average for this time of year.
Market experts warned that futures are likely to remain vulnerable amid speculation the start of spring will bring warmer temperatures throughout the U.S. and cut into demand for the fuel.
Spring usually sees the weakest demand for natural gas in the U.S, as the absence of extreme temperatures curbs demand for heating and air conditioning.
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