Natural gas slips for third day on outlook for milder weather

Natural gas futures declined for a third day in New York on forecasts of warmer weather that would cut demand for the heating fuel.

Gas dropped as much as 2.1 percent after MDA Weather Services in Gaithersburg, Maryland, predicted above-normal temperatures in the eastern half of the U.S. from Jan. 8 through Jan. 12. The low in Chicago on Jan. 10 may be 28 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 2 Celsius), 10 higher than usual, according to AccuWeather Inc. in State College, Pennsylvania.

“The forecasts are starting to warm up quite a bit,” said Phil Flynn, senior market analyst at the Price Futures Group in Chicago. “We aren’t really seeing the type of cold weather you’d expect for this time of year.”

Natural gas for February delivery fell 5.4 cents, or 1.7 percent, to $3.179 per million British thermal units at 9:18 a.m. on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The futures are up 6.2 percent from a year ago. Trading volume was down 3.5 percent from the 100-day average.

Gas slid to $3.05 in electronic trading on Jan. 1, the lowest since Sept. 28, before rebounding.

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