U.S. natural gas futures slip early ahead of holiday weekend

Fri May 24, 2013 9:30am EDT
 
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NEW YORK, May 24 (Reuters) - U.S. natural gas futures,
pressured by profit taking ahead of a long holiday weekend,
slipped slightly early Friday, but warmer forecasts for next
week that should stir more demand helped limit the downside.
    Traders said the market was due for a pullback after
climbing about 5 percent earlier this week, particularly with
moderate temperatures moving across the eastern half of the
nation for the next five days and demand typically slower during
an extended holiday weekend.
    Offices for most trading firms will be closed on Monday for
the U.S. Memorial Day holiday.
    "
    It was the first time in four weeks that the inventory build
fell short of market expectations.
    Traders said they expected injections to continue to slow in
coming weeks as temperatures heat up and force more homeowners
and businesses to turn on their air conditioners.
    Early injection estimates for next week's report range from
80 to 103 bcf versus a 72-bcf build during the same week last
year and a five-year average rise for that week of 92 bcf.    
    Mostly below-seasonal temperatures are expected for the
eastern half of the country for the next few days, but Commodity
Weather Group noted the six- to 10-day forecast turned hotter
again for the central and eastern United States, with some
much-above normal readings stretching into the Mid-Atlantic
region.