U.S. natgas futures seesaw, warmer weather on tap late-month

Mon Jun 10, 2013 9:36am EDT
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* Front month down 4 percent last week, second weekly loss
    * Weather outlooks turn warmer for mid- to late-June
    * Nuclear power plant outages well below normal

    By Eileen Houlihan
    NEW YORK, June 10 (Reuters) - U.S. natural gas futures
seesawed on either side of unchanged  early on Monday, as the
return of weekday industrial demand and warm weather outlooks
for late-month mixed with near-term mild conditions in the
Northeast, a quiet tropical front and below-normal nuclear plant
    As of 9:26 a.m. EDT (1326 GMT), front-month July natural gas
futures on the New York Mercantile Exchange were at
$3.836 per million British thermal units, up 0.8 cent, after
trading between $3.815 and $3.864.
    The contract hit a nearly three-month low of $3.814 on
Friday after climbing to a 21-month high of $4.444 in early May.
    The latest National Weather Service six- to 10-day forecast
and the eight- to 14-day outlook, both issued on Sunday, called
for above-normal temperatures for most of the nation, with
below-normal readings only along the West Coast and in New
    Nuclear plant outages totaled just 6,600 megawatts, or 7
percent of U.S. capacity, down from 11,200 MW out on Friday,
11,700 MW out a year ago and a five-year average outage rate of
9,500 MW. 
    The U.S. National Hurricane Center said tropical cyclone
formation was not expected during the next 48 hours.
    Early injection estimates for Thursday's gas storage report
from the U.S. Energy Information Administration range from 83
bcf to 107 bcf versus a 66-bcf build during the same week last
year and a five-year average rise for that week of 84 bcf.

    Baker Hughes data on Friday showed the gas drilling
rig count held steady for a fourth straight week at 354, just
above the 18-year low of 350 hit in early May.