MTECHTIPS;-U.S. gas futures slide toward 4-month lows on bearish outlook


MTECHTIPS;-U.S. gas futures slide toward 4-month lows on bearish outlook

MTECHTIPS-U.S. natural gas futures were under pressure on Wednesday, extending losses into a fourth session amid bearish weather forecasts that should limit demand for the fuel. U.S. natural gas for August delivery was at $2.898 per million British thermal units by 9:25 AM ET (1325 GMT), down 5.1 cents, or around 1.7%, not far from a four-month low of $2.855. Trade volumes were thin on Tuesday, as U.S. markets remained closed for the Independence Day holiday. Natural gas fell sharply on Monday to notch its third losing session in a row, as updated weather forecasting models pointed to decreased summer demand in the weeks ahead. Prices have closely tracked weather forecasts in recent weeks, as traders try to gauge the impact of shifting outlooks on summer 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. Total natural gas in storage currently stands at 2.816 trillion cubic feet, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, 10.2% lower than levels at this time a year ago but 6.4% above the five-year average for this time of year.

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