U.S. natgas futures edge lower for second straight day
* Front month still well above recent three-month spot low * Nuclear power plant outages remain below normal * Coming up: Baker Hughes gas drilling rig data later Friday By Eileen Houlihan NEW YORK, June 21 (Reuters) - U.S. natural gas futures edged lower early on Friday, extending losses for a second straight day on some profit-taking after recent gains and following another above-average weekly inventory injection on Thursday. But with hotter weather on tap for much of the nation in the coming weeks, most traders expect the downside to be limited Others said gas prices might have gotten ahead of themselves after a 6 percent run-up early this week, especially with production flowing at or near a record high. As of 9:18 a.m. EDT (1318 GMT), front-month July natural gas futures on the New York Mercantile Exchange were at $3.844 per million British thermal units, down 3.3 cents, after trading between $3.836 and $3.904. The contract hit a nearly two-week high of $3.983 on Wednesday after dropping to a three-month low of $3.71 last week. The National Weather Service's latest six-to-10-day forecast, issued on Thursday, called for above-normal temperatures for a little more than the western half of the nation and in the Northeast, with normal or below-normal readings in the Southeast and most of Texas. Nuclear plant outages totaled 5,900 megawatts, or just 6 percent of U.S. capacity, down from 6,100 MW out on Thursday, 8,900 MW out a year ago, and a five-year average outage rate of 7,000 MW. Thursday's gas storage report from the U.S. Energy
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