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Natural Gas Futures Climb on Outlook for Electricity Demand

By: Christine Buurma |

Natural gas futures gained in New York for the first time in five days on forecasts for hotter-than-normal weather that would spur demand from power plants.

Gas advanced as much as 1.8 percent as above-average temperatures are expected in most of the lower-48 states through June 30, according to MDA Weather Services in Gaithersburg, Maryland. Prices dropped to $3.645 per million British thermal units in intraday trading yesterday, the lowest since March 13 and 1.4 cents above the 200-day moving average.

“It’s hot out and there’s more gas burn from the power sector,” said Addison Armstrong, director of market research at Tradition Energy in Stamford, Connecticut. “We bounced straight off the low from yesterday that corresponded to the 200-day moving average.”

Natural gas for July delivery rose 4.5 cents, or 1.2 percent, to $3.692 per million Btu at 8:50 a.m. on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Prices have climbed 10 percent this year. Trading volume was 26 percent below the average for the time of day.

July gas futures expire today. The more actively traded August contract gained 5 cents, or 1.4 percent, to $3.72 per million Btu.