UPDATE 3-US natgas futures hit 1-month high on storage draw, cold

Thu Nov 21, 2013 3:16pm EST
 
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* Prices shoot up after bullish EIA natgas storage draw

* Cold weather late this week, next week seen lifting demand

* Comfortable storage, record production limit upside

* Coming up: Baker Hughes rig data, CFTC trade data Friday

By Joe Silha

NEW YORK, Nov 21 (Reuters) - U.S. natural gas futures ended higher for a second straight day on Thursday, with the front-month contract driven to a one-month high by cold weather forecasts and a government report showing an unexpectedly large weekly draw from inventories.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration reported that total gas inventories fell last week by 45 billion cubic feet to 3.789 trillion cubic feet.

Many traders viewed the withdrawal, the first of the heating season, as bullish for prices, noting it came in well above the Reuters poll estimate of 33 bcf and also exceeded the highest estimate of 42 bcf in that poll.

Stocks fell 36 bcf during the same year-ago week, and the five-year average decline for that week was just 2 bcf.   Continued...