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