Gas supplies drop with temperature

 Natural gas rose in New York, extending its first weekly gain in almost a month.

Prices climbed as much as 4.9 percent. Gas advanced 9.2 percent last week, the first such increase since the 20 percent jump for the period ended Jan. 24, as a winter storm in the U.S. South moved to the Northeast. Stockpiles of the heating fuel declined for a 13th week to 1.686 trillion cubic feet in the seven days ended Feb. 7, according to the Energy Information Administration. That’s the lowest level since April last year.

Futures for March delivery rose 19.2 cents, or 3.7 percent, to $5.406 per million British thermal units in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange at 10:30 a.m. Volume of all futures traded was 65 percent below the 100-day average. Prices are up 28 percent this year.

Supplies will drop to 1.33 trillion cubic feet by the end of March, when the heating season draws to a close, the EIA said in a monthly report. About 49 percent of U.S. households use gas for heating, according to the Energy Department’s statistical arm.

MDA Weather Services in Gaithersburg, Maryland, said temperatures may be higher than average in the eastern U.S. from Feb. 19 through Feb. 23. The low in New York on Feb. 20 may be 40 degrees Fahrenheit (4 Celsius), 10 more than usual, according to AccuWeather Inc. in State College, Pennsylvania.

Floor trading in New York is closed today for the U.S. Presidents Day holiday. Electronic transactions will be booked tomorrow.


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