UPDATE 3-Mild forecasts drive U.S. natural gas futures lower

Mon Sep 30, 2013 3:50pm EDT
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* Mild weather next two weeks expected to weaken demand

* Tropical Storm Jerry forms in Atlantic

* NHC also monitoring storm system in Caribbean

By Joe Silha

NEW YORK, Sept 30 (Reuters) - U.S. natural gas futures closed lower on Monday, with fairly mild U.S. weather forecasts for the next two weeks lowering prospects for a pickup in demand.

The front-month contract, which posted a five-week low of $3.402 on Thursday after a bearish weekly inventory report, lost 2.7 percent last week on the mild outlook and no serious storm threats to Gulf of Mexico gas supplies.

In September, the nearby contract logged its fourth loss in the last five months, dropping 0.6 percent. The contract also posted a fractional loss in the third quarter but is still up 6.2 percent so far this year.

"Prices came off on the mild weather expected for the next couple of weeks that should lead to larger storage injections, but we should see some colder weather later next month," said Aaron Calder, analyst at Gelber & Associates in Houston.

Front gas futures on the New York Mercantile Exchange ended down 2.9 cents, or 0.8 percent, at $3.560 per million British thermal units, after trading between $3.509 and $3.583.   Continued...