Investing.com - Natural gas futures moved sideways in afternoon trading on Monday after weather forecasts pointed to warmer weather patterns settling in for the eastern half of the U.S. in the coming days.
On the New York Mercantile Exchange, natural gas futures for delivery in May traded at USD4.024 per million British thermal units, up 0.01%.
The commodity hit a session low of USD3.936 and a high of USD4.043.
Weather forecasting models that called for a chilly end to winter finally pointed to a thawing trend in the coming days.
MDA Weather Services forecasted above-normal temperatures to settle in for the eastern U.S. from April 6 through April 15, which allowed for choppy trading as investors digested how unseasonably cold weather that stuck around for most of March will give way to a return to springtime weather patterns.
Bullish inventory figures released late last week by the U.S. government gave natural gas some support.
The U.S. Energy Information Administration said in its weekly report on Thursday that natural gas storage in the U.S. in the week ended March 22 fell by 95 billion cubic feet, outpacing expectations for a drop of 87 billion cubic feet.
Total U.S. natural gas storage stood at 1,781 trillion cubic feet as of last week. Stocks were 642 billion cubic feet less than last year at this time and 61 billion cubic feet above the five-year average of 1.720 trillion cubic feet for this time of year.
The report showed that in the East Region, stocks were 41 billion cubic feet below the five-year average, following net withdrawals of 73 billion cubic feet.
Stocks in the Producing Region were 30 billion cubic feet above the five-year average of 707 billion cubic feet after a net withdrawal of 17 billion cubic feet.
U.S. Elsewhere on the NYMEX, light sweet crude oil futures for delivery in May were down 0.25% and trading at USD96.98 a barrel, while heating oil futures for May delivery were up 0.88% at USD3.0738 per gallon.